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16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 

I had to laugh reading this chapter.  In chapter three, I was searching for a passage that connected.  Chapter four is absolutely loaded.  I could probably do a week's worth of devotions on this one chapter alone.  But as I shared yesterday, some days you read, and nothing seems to register.  Some days you read and hit a gusher.   

Paul was summing up why he did not get discouraged.  Why he did not lose heart.  He knew that outward things are temporary.  Even our body, the outward man, is perishing, getting older.  As much as we would like to wish this is not true, we can take comfort knowing our inward man, our spirit, is full of life and not aging.  Yea!  

And we don't lose heart because our difficulties are temporary, and Paul called them light.  Some of the stuff he went through, and he called it light.  Shipwrecked, stoned to death, beaten, and put in prison.  Lord, help me get a better perspective on my challenges.  Paul then gave maybe his most important reason for not losing heart.  He was not fixated on the visible things of this world and this life.  He was not denying their existence, just looking beyond them to the eternal things of God's Kingdom.  He was more focused on the things that would never change, and he knew that everything he could see was temporary and subject to change.   



Staying encouraged is a better place to be.  When we lose heart, become discouraged, it drains us.  So how can we begin to gain a better perspective as Paul did? 

Recognize we are spiritual beings, and we will live forever.   Our spirit is full of life and can get stronger even as we age.   

Begin to complain less and talk less about our problems.  Whatever we talk about gets bigger to us.  So, let's talk that our problems are light and temporary.  It may not appear that way, but it does set us up for not losing heart.  Our mindset makes a difference.   

And finally, we talk about whatever we are going through as changing.  If it changed from good to bad, it can change from bad to good.  By God's grace and help, the eternal things of God, His Spirit, and His Kingdom are the stable solid things in our life.  He never changes.  He's our Rock. 



Dear Father, help me develop a stronger mindset.  I want to be strong in my heart, not lose heart.