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“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.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 AMP
As I read this verse, two words sent me on a word search hunt. The two words were (1) discouraged and (2) renewed. Their oppositional nature reminded me of the battle between light and darkness, good and evil, God and the destroyer. I decided to dive into that oppositional construct.
I began by looking up the definition of fear: alarm and apprehension. As I thought about the behaviors elicited by those words I imagined being frozen into inactivity. Not being able to move forward. Growth being stunted. Then I looked at the definition of discouraged: dishearten, dispirit. Dishearten really captured me as I thought of how important our heart is to God. That is His most valued treasure…our hearts. Dishearten: depress, ruin one’s hope. Oh my! Now I felt like I had really stumbled onto something. Something that erodes our heart’s health both spiritually, mentally, intellectually and physically. Hopelessness. This truly reeked of the destroyer who comes to kill, steal and destroy.
So then I turned my attention to the word renew: start over, refurbish. As I looked at synonyms there were two words that stood out: refresh and transform. Refresh: make like new; give new life. Transform: to change — (1) in form, appearance or structure; (2) condition, nature or character; (3) into another substance. THIS is the power that Jesus Christ has placed IN us. Holy Spirit renews us daily. This is a powerful force that is readily and constantly available to us. It is our comforter in our time of need. It is our counselor for decisions, direction, choices and challenges. It is our strength and our salvation. It produces CHANGE. Other words that are fun to play with:
- REFIT: correct, improve, fix — God knows we are not perfect. He gives a friend in Holy Spirit to help us along the way. We are never alone.
- RENOVATE: make new or as it new again; repair; restore to good condition — God gave us Holy Spirit to “renovate” us daily!
- REMODEL: to reconstruct; make over — We have access to a daily make over! I had never quite thought about it that way.
And then a word that really resonated with a chain of words all its own — RECREATE: create anew. CREATE: to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. As in God “created” us in his image. We are no accident. We are each unique in our God-given design. We did not naturally evolve. We are CREATED. We are not ordinary. We are EXTRAORDINARY: (1) beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular or established. (2) exceptional in character, amount, extent or degree.
So let’s give thanks for the powerful, life-giving, transformational change agent inside each of us. Let’s give thanks for our own unique design and voice that Our Father has given us. Let’s create a sound as we come together as one body in His presence to offer our gifts with singing!
Let us take the time to recognize this gift today and go be EXTRAORDINARY in all that we do or say.
Father, we thank You for Your extraordinary gift of Your Holy Spirit that You have placed in us. We thank You for Your extraordinary act of love in giving Your Son for our sin. We thank You Jesus for being an extraordinary and perfect man on this earth that gave Your life for us. Thank you Holy Trinity for showing us and giving us the power to be EXTRAORDINARY in Jesus Name. Amen
2 Corinthians 4