Our Daily Bread Devotional For October 24, 2023 : Topic – Don’t Lose Heart
Bible in a Year:
We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Today’s Scripture : 2 Corinthians 4:16–18
Paul begins 2 Corinthians with heartfelt words of comfort (1:3–7) and returns to that theme in 4:16–18. In tandem with this comfort, however, he relates the difficulties he and his coworkers have endured: “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (1:8). In chapter 4, he says, “We are hard pressed on every side” (v. 8), “persecuted” and “struck down” (v. 9). We “carry around in our body the death of Jesus” (v. 10). But Paul is quick to note that we’re “not abandoned” (v. 9) and adds, “we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself” (v. 14). That’s why he can bracket this chapter with the theme of hopeful perseverance: “We do not lose heart” (4:1, 16).
But as her body failed her, Mom’s prayer life grew more vigorous. She spent hours praying for others to know and experience the love of God. Precious words of Scripture grew sweeter to her. Before her eyesight faded, she wrote a letter to her sister Marjorie including words from 2 Corinthians 4: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (v. 16).
The apostle Paul knew how easy it is to “lose heart.” He describes his life as one of danger, pain, and deprivation (2 Corinthians 11:23–29). Yet he viewed those “troubles” as temporary. And he encouraged us to think not only about what we see but also about what we can’t see—that which is eternal (4:17–18).
Despite what’s happening to us, our loving Father is continuing our inner renewal every day. His presence with us is sure. Through the gift of prayer, He’s only a breath away. And His promises to strengthen us and give us hope and joy remain true.
Reflect & Pray
What’s causing you to be discouraged or “lose heart”? Which Scriptures are especially encouraging to you?
Precious Father, thank You for Your faithful love for me and the assurance of Your presence.