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Thoughts on 2 Corinthians 4:7-10;15-18

I have been reading this particular passage a lot lately and have found it to be very encouraging. I have not done any sort of formal study into the passage, nor looked in any sort of commentary or the such, the following is merely what I have received and seen it to mean and how it has impacted me. With that said here is the passage and my thoughts on it.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10;15-18 (HCSB)

7. Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9. we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

15. Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory. 16. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In verse seven of the passage everything is set up from a certain perspective. My life is not about myself. The imagery of clay jars reminds me of my fragile, human state. I am a vessel, a created thing. Paul is about to go into this encouraging portion of how we are never abandoned, and never destroyed, etc. But before that, it seems he feels the need to remind us that the reason we can endure and push on has nothing to do with us, but rather everything to do with the power of God and the display of His power. It’s like Paul is saying I am about to tell you some really awesome things, but do not, under any circumstance, that the reason what I am about to tell you is true is not ultimately for your benefit. After recognizing where this power comes from we now move into verses eight and nine. “8. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9. we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed.” These verses are so encouraging. We as believers are not alone, not able to be destroyed, there is no need to be in despair, no matter what the situation may be. God, our heavenly father, our perfect Master, our Creator, is taking care of us. He will walk with us through our deepest and darkest trials and experiences. Let’s not forget though what Paul prefaced these two verses with. We do not deserve the Lord’s providence and protection. There is nothing within us that causes Jesus to help us endure, other than His glory and name. As verse ten goes on to say, the death of Jesus, and our suffering, is so that His life, who He is, would be revealed to those around us through us. We become these instruments of His, serving His purpose and His desires. We can and are instructed elsewhere in Scripture to rejoice in suffering, and pain, understanding that it is all for the glory of our Savior. Verse fifteen tells us of the missional purpose of our life and life’s experiences. “15. Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.” The grace we have been given, is to be shown to everyone we come in contact with. We are to be the most thankful, gracious people in this world. Constantly showing grace and mercy to everyone around us. Even in the most difficult of times. Those hard times should be periods of our life that then reflect the grace of God even more. Because we are pressured, but not crushed, and perplexed, but not in despair. We are persecuted, but not alone, we have fallen but are not destroyed. We are to rejoice and exhibit thankfulness in everything. Verses sixteen and seventeen go on to say this: “16. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” When we can truly be thankful and truly rejoice in God’s grace and sovereignty no matter what may be going on around us, our souls will be at rest. Verses seventeen and eighteen offer us the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are now in this life, at the end of it all, when we enter into eternity, it will all have seemed so trivial and minimal when we compare it to the glory of Christ we will see face to face. When we live our lives focused on the glory of Christ and the glory He is and will be receiving, as opposed to being wrapped up in our temporary suffering, we then experience an unexplainable peace despite the circumstances. We experience satisfaction that can not be found anywhere else or in anything else. We have joy that is not able to be compared. Life, if lived for the glory of the Maker, becomes so enjoyably simple and rewarding. Circumstances no longer dictate joy and peace. Circumstances just cause us to remember the sovereignty, grace, and mercy of our Savior. We don’t focus on there here and now, we don’t let it get to us. We let it spur us closer to eternity. Closer to peace, closer to grace, closer to the Maker of all things.

 

 

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