Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Paul’s life as a believer was anything but easy. I can’t begin to imagine all that he went through in his proclamation of the gospel (2 Cor. 11:23-29). Nor can I imagine not becoming discouraged by the intensity of his opposition.
But Paul did not lose heart. He did not become discouraged because of all he went through. Why? Because he knew that the one who had raised Jesus from the dead would also raise him along with Jesus (2 Cor. 4:14). And he understood that all the suffering and challenges he faced were nothing compared with what awaited him (2 Cor. 4:17). So, rather than be discouraged by the present, he kept his hope firmly fixed on the glory that laid ahead. Glory that was enhanced by his present suffering.
I face little in the way of active persecution. And I am generally free to practice my faith without fear. But that does not make me immune to discouragement when how I think things should be, does not line up with how they are. Especially when it seems nothing I do makes a difference.
But the solution to that discouragement is the same as what Paul expressed. Remember what Christ has done for me. Remember what awaits me at the end of this journey. And then be faithful to his calling with my eyes fixed on him. This life is temporary. But what awaits me is glorious and eternal. And that is where my hope should lie.