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Regenerated through Degeneration: A Paradoxical Phenomenon

      By Fern Horst

"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

The more interested I get in health and nutrition the more amazed I am at how God has created the human body. Although our bodies are continually aging and deteriorating, they are at the same time regenerating and healing themselves via the built-in mechanisms and systems God has placed within our bodies. It's a fascinating phenomenon.

The same thing happens to us regarding spiritual health. It's often during times of difficulties in our earthly lives that our reliance on Him increases as we don't know where else to turn. As a result we grow by leaps and bounds spiritually. As Paul wrote, though the outward man perishes, the inward man is renewed daily. I think we've all seen Christians who were afflicted by an illness and yet glowed with God's grace, peace and joy. It's truly another fascinating phenomenon, even more so than the first.

It's a reminder again that those things which we think of as valuable and important to our quality of life are only temporary. They will someday pass away and perish. All the health we achieve, all the wealth we accumulate, all the positions of significance and power we aspire to, all the fun relationships and travels and entertainment we'd like to enjoy - in and of themselves they are powerless to give us true grace and peace and joy. Happiness seems to elude the person who "has it all." Job was an extreme example of a person who had it all and then suddenly lost it, and yet through it all his faith grew into a simple but profound trust in the Lord.

I'd venture to say that today you are feeling a lack in some area of your life, whether it be in relationships, finances, health, or career. But I encourage you to grasp this lack as an opportunity to see it as something temporal - only of this earth - and as an opportunity to grab hold of those unseen things which are eternal. Trust in the Lord, knowledge of Him through His Word, and purpose in advancing His Kingdom, are all unseen things which will last for all eternity and are not dependent on relationships, finances, health or career to acquire them. In fact, those are the very things that sometimes get in the way of achieving those things of eternal value. As God gives earthly gifts to us we must handle them with care, so that they are assets to acquiring those things of eternal value, rather than hindrances.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (II Corinthians 12:10

© 2006 Fern Horst

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