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Do not lose heart.

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3 steps to help with daily renewal

In the last 3 years, the reported cases of diagnosed anxiety disorders worldwide has increased by 25%. 

The world gives us more and more reasons to divide ourselves from other groups who don’t think like us and there continues to be media sources that use fear instead of facts to inform, and our mental health is paying the price.

It can become so easy to focus on what is going wrong in the world and begin to worry and fear for the here-and-now and for the future. Just one news article or passionate pessimist conversation can derail our whole day.

What do we do about this? How do we combat the enemy and all the lies that he throws at us on a daily basis?

Go to the source of truth.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 

II Corinthians 4:16-18

So many great reminders wrapped up in those words! Friend, when hard things happen in this life, when things feel out of control and like evil is winning the day,

Do. Not. Lose. Heart.

But how? How do we not lose heart? 

Paul reminds us in the letter to the Corinthians – by daily renewal.

Though our earthly bodies continue to decline, our eternal self can be renewed day by day, morning by morning, moment by moment, by the promises of His Word. Scripture reminds us that these present afflictions are no comparison to the joy that is coming

If you find your thoughts sinking into the present, or the momentary, be purposeful with renewing your mind with the Promises of His Word.

3 steps to renew your mind

Stick to the truth: earlier in the same chapter, in verse 2, Paul describes it as renouncing disgraceful, underhanded ways. Refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word. Where are you getting your source or truth from? Is it direct from God’s word or is it always through another party who gives you their interpretation of it? Scripture was written for everyone, not the elite few – it is meant to be read and understood by all who come with a humble heart seeking. Don’t leave it for another to feed it to you on a Sunday – seek it for yourself daily.

Remind yourself who you live for: in verse 5, Paul writes, “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.” When we are tiring of the try-hard life, we need to ask ourselves just exactly what we are working for. A life in service to God is still exhausting, but we can be renewed in our spirit when we are pulling from the source of unlimited energy. If we are living for prestige, money, and pleasure, we will run ourselves ragged and still feel like we have fallen short. If we instead face our days as ones that can be proclaiming Christ in our words and actions, we will find fulfillment and joy. We may be exhausted at the end of the day, but we will also have a God of unlimited resources that can fill us back up. We are called to be His hands and feet in this world and to take Jesus to the lost and hurting. But we can’t do that effectively if we are not feeding our thoughts with the Truth.

Keep your eyes focused on what matters: in verse 18, Paul sums it all up, “we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” We can be renewed in our spirit because we know this will not last forever. The light at the tunnel may not be seen but we know there is an end to all the hard things. This life is temporal, only what is lived for Christ will last. Keeping our eyes on the eternal perspective can make the weight of this world tolerable as we can allow Jesus to shoulder that for us. We need to remind ourselves daily of the glory and light that is coming so we have the power to face the dark and despondent that is waiting for us outside our door.

Be intentional with filling your thoughts with Truth. Not some “truth” that the world is trying to feed you. Or someone’s narrative of what truth means to them. Instead, go to the Word. Let your first thoughts of the day be filled with scripture and a quiet moment with Jesus. Seek to have your thoughts renewed day by day.

And do not lose heart.

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