Because of our time away this week, I’ve been thinking about the subject of renewal. As I think about the subject of being refreshed and renewed, I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:16, which says,
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
The outer man
As we age, we begin to realize more fully the truth of this phrase, “our outer man is decaying.” We feel aches and pains and have frustrations as our bodies begin to be unable to do things we used to do regularly. Our mind is still sharp, but we can’t make our flesh do what we want it to do. Our outer man is decaying. It’s breaking down. It’s fading away. This is tough to accept, but it’s reality.
The inner man
On the other hand, our inner man, our spirit, is being renewed day by day. Our spiritual self does not fade away. We do not break down. We do not die. Instead, our spiritual self is ever increasing in strength and its renewal is daily. As God sanctifies us in Christ, He is growing us, and that growth is ever increasing, never fading. People may see us breaking down externally, but internally we are growing fresher and firmer and stronger every day.
The result is simple: because we know we are being renewed day by day, we do not lose heart. We can take courage—things are getting better, not worse. Sure it may not look like things are better at times, but since when is anything of the Christian faith based on sight? In fact, that’s why Paul says what he says just a couple of verses later in verse 18.
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.
We can take heart because we are being renewed in our inner man every single day in Christ, and that’s refreshing to know.