Reflection on 2Cor 4:16-17Post date: 2017-03-11
Reflection on 2Cor 4:16-17
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Saint Paul the Apostle tells both the Corinthians and us, using the example of the Apostles themselves, that if we love the Lord Jesus and strive to serve Him with all our strength, we must also reckon with the cross of physical exhaustion. Spiritual battle, involving prayers, sleeplessness, fastings and toil, exhausts our body and soul. Nevertheless, our spirit is renewed like the strength of the eagle. The inward man, born again of the Holy Spirit, is full of the inward power of God, a childlike joy and the love of God and people. Our spirit “rejoices in God our Saviour” and as if contrary to natural laws we come to see that as we grow older, we are more and more vigorous, filled with God’s strength, in our service to God. If not, we must repent because something is wrong with us and we are wasting our life. We are not even afraid of death because we know that God will raise us from the dead and give us a new transformed body and eternal glory in heaven. Our inward relationship and love to Christ fills us with the desire to serve God to the point of utter exhaustion and to help Him save souls. God united us through baptism with Christ’s death and it is His desire that we become united with the dying of Jesus on the cross at all times, i.e. again and again, through faith and through inward and outward self-denial. This happens in a variety of life’s trials and struggles in which we learn, with God’s help, to overcome ourselves as well as demonic cunning. Overcoming our old self and the deceit of the spirit of lies is very important for our salvation and for the salvation of other souls. More importantly, it brings great glory to God and joy to the angels and saints. Love for Christ consumed many a saint to the point of utter exhaustion, others laid down their lives as martyrs. We all grow old, but the essential difference between people is whether they die simply because they have grown old or they have wholly sacrificed themselves for Jesus. The inward man is not renewed in them who do not live for Christ. They do not see the true nature and meaning of their life. They die like animals without understanding. Those, however, who have committed their lives in service to God are like children, with pure hearts and with eyes fixed on Jesus. Their fire of zeal for God, faith and desire to love God more and more is ever greater, although their physical strength is waning. They look at what is hidden from the eyes of the flesh; they see Christ in themselves and know about the eternal reward in heaven the weight of which is beyond comparison with affliction in this world.
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