2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.
Discouragement indeed! One of the reasons I like the Amplified version of the Bible is because it is good at describing nuances of words. We have all had some experiences with discouragement, and I think the various levels are well expressed above: exhausted ~ and that is mentally but affects the physical as well. Then he says “wearied out through fear”. Scripture says here ‘we do not become’ discouraged. . .' Why?
It is possible to live without discouragement, because we get progressively renewed day after day ~ our spirit is renewed. It is why Jesus sent us Holy Spirit to indwell us! Holy Spirit renews us by the sure way of the Word. our faithful God knows what we need; and when we submit ourselves to Him, He will take us to our own personal pool of refreshment.
There’s a great article by T Austin-Sparks that speaks of suffering, fear and conflict. OK, But what is God's plan to help us through it?
He shows through Scripture history how the challenged people of the Bible were lifted up by God in their difficult times. Look at Abraham told to leave his home and family and business and travel off ~ without a given destination ~ on trust alone. Then there was Moses assigned to lead a whole nation of people to the promised land ~ he had a multitude of problems and situations to deal with! Or Paul who was afflicted with probably more beatings and conflicts and perils than anyone I know. Yet each of these and many others overcame and carried their assignments through to victory.
What is God's secret of their success? They each had personal encounters, new revelations, a new unveiling of the power and greatness of God. Abraham met with God and spoke with Him. Moses encountered the glory of God at the burning bush and on the mountain. Paul met Jesus powerfully on the road to Damascus.
Each of these men had personal encounters with the greatness of God, and were held high by them during each attack of the enemy. When you have such a powerful event in your life, you have something that will again and again come to your rescue in times of difficulty. These men could not be defeated because God -encounters create the impenetrable foundation that supports the breastplate of righteousness and faith strength; thus they could not be defeated!
But what about me? Did you know you too can have, and some already have had, personal encounters, or new personal revelations of the greatness of Jesus? It is God’s plan through history; it is also His plan for you. Look at Jesus’ brilliance, His grandeur:
Hebrews 1:1-3 (NLV)
Long ago God spoke to our early fathers in many different ways. He spoke through the early preachers. 2 But in these last days He has spoken to us through His Son. God gave His Son everything. It was by His Son that God made the world.
Amplified version: 3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high
Powerful magnificence of the Son of God! When you have personally encountered Him, You will have an inner strength that will bolster your faith in every situation every day.
Allow me please to share a personal experience. It was a day back in 2004. I’d been feeling grumpy for a few days, and finally one night I said, “Father, You know this is not like me. We need to have a little chat.” The next morning during my quiet time with the Lord, I looked down at my Bible which ‘just happened’ to be opened to John 15:10-11 which says if I obey Jesus' commands as Jesus obeyed His Father, He will give me:11 . . . My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. When I read that, I responded, “Jesus, I obey your commands. I qualify for Your joy and I claim it!”
Then it happened. Jesus filled me with His joy from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. A smile broke upon on my face. Joy rang throughout my body. It was amazing!
It was that afternoon the Doctor called and said, “Mary, I have bad news. You have breast cancer.” Ha! Ha! Ha! enemy! No fear could penetrate the joy of Jesus that had filled me. That joy does not fade away, it remained with me throughout the entire cancer journey.
Jesus was not finished with me yet, for the next morning He gave me a Scripture to sustain me forever:
Isaiah 43:1-2 (AMP)
Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
These are His personal words to me. I am His; of all the people upon the earth, He knows me, loves me, and calls me by name.
Jesus will give you an amazing personal encounter too!