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2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18 “Renewed every day”

Paul had to “brace for impact” throughout his ministry. He was beaten, stoned, whipped, imprisoned, shipwrecked and he faced hunger, sickness and nights without shelter (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:16-33). Yet, in verses 8-10, Paul claimed the kind of resilience we see in cartoon characters—but he was totally serious. He led a very tough life, but testified that it is possible to live beyond fear thanks to God’s awesome power within us.

  • In verses 8-12, Paul described life’s harshness: we “experience trouble,” get “confused,” are “harassed,” and get “knocked down.” He quickly countered each hardship, saying even the hard stuff isn’t enough to overcome God’s power within us. How have you experienced difficulties in your life? In what ways has God been with you to help in the midst of adversity? What steps can you take to build the same confidence Paul had in the midst of his hardships?
  • In verses 16-18 Paul urged his readers to view their lives from an eternal perspective. Even though human bodies break down and people face hardship, “the person that we are becoming is being renewed every day.” He added that even though it’s easier to focus on the things that are “seen,” the things we can’t see (e.g. spiritual growth and character) are what lasts forever. God doesn’t cause hardships, but can use them for good. When and how has God helped you grow after going through a tough time?


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