When Feeling Discouraged and Tempted to Lose Heart: Praying through 2nd Cor. 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 

     Dear heavenly Father, I run to the throne of grace today for a number of friends living in difficult, heart-deflating stories—friends for whom Paul’s words couldn’t be more appropriate. I thank you for encouragement we find in the Scriptures and the strength you give us by grace. You give us hope, not hype; honesty, not puffery, more grace, not more spin.

     Indeed, some of us are actually, “outwardly wasting away.” Father, I long for the Day of no more cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, addictions… and the list goes on. I don’t underestimate your power to heal, but right now, I greatly value your commitment to inwardly renew the hearts of ailing friends, and their family members. Father, make the gospel so real, your presence so sensate, and your love so palpable. It’s a short life we live, but we need you in every second of it.

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 

     Thank you that our pain, suffering, and troubles are not in vain, Father. You are a great and gracious Redeemer. Though some troubles doesn’t seem very “light and momentary,” before long, they will. One Day the weight of your sovereignty and wisdom will tip the scales towards eternal Hallelujahs. We will unhesitatingly proclaim, “Our God has done all things well!”

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

     Until then, Father, be with our friends who suffer, and we who engage their sufferings. Help us not to run to denial, but to you. Help us fix our gaze on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith—the One who suffered for us, and now suffers with us; he who once made all things, and is now making all things new. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ kind and powerful name.