For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. ~2 Corinthians 4:16
I recently received my DMV registration renewal notice for my automobile. Each year, I must renew the registration of my auto to show I am the current owner, and that the auto is compliantly operational. If I fail to do the renewal, it could result in a financial penalty and non-operational usage of my auto. As we approach a New Year, we are thinking about things that will be new and things that need to be renewed.
We see the reality of fainting.
The word “faint” is used twice in 2 Corinthians 4 to describe being utterly tired, worn out, and exhausted. We are drained when we are fainting. We lack sharpness. We are moving at a much slower pace and speed than when our energy level is high. We tend to be discouraged more often and lack motivation to achieve. Paul describes the fainting process coming from trouble, from being perplexed, persecuted, and cast down. In effect, we are worn-out physically, mentally, and most important spiritually. Paul said, “But though the outward man perish.” This is the reality - that we will experience fainting.
We see the reason for fainting.
There are a myriad of things that cause fainting within us. Physical weakness due to nutritional deficiency, lack of exercise, stress, and lack of adequate sleep can lead to fainting. Paul describes the difficulties that lead to fainting as our “light affliction.” We are in a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness and will often be wearied from extensive trials, setbacks, conflict with others, and anxiety over things that we have not adequately prayed over.
We see the remedy for fainting.
First, we have a power for renewal. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” This power is the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (v. 14). It is reviving power. It is repeated power. Second, we have a process for renewal. “The inward man is renewed day by day.” Renewal is attained daily through a consistent time in the Word of God and in prayer. Third, we must have the right perspective for renewal. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” When we keep our eyes on things that are eternal, we are constantly renewing our inner man.
We see the resistance against fainting.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; For which cause we faint not.” We must be steadfast in spite of fainting. Fatigue and exhaustion are real. Jesus told His disciples in the midst of a busy ministry time to come apart for a while into a desert place to rest. First, build margins within your schedule for adequate rest and seasons of renewal. Second, be careful that your schedule is not the master and tyrant of your life. We must live by a schedule, but we can become so over-committed that we become servants to our schedule. Third, consider Paul’s counter-attitude against fainting: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
Structure your life in the coming year so that your inner man is renewed day by day. Make daily renewal a priority for spirituality, sharpness, and success.
Have a renewed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Revelation 17-19