A jar of clay!
Scripture reading for August 3rd: 2nd Corinthians 4
Paul likened each believer to a “jar of clay” that contained an amazing treasure–the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ! This knowledge came from faith and God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul stated that God put this treasure in frail human vessels for a purpose: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2nd Corinthians 4:7) God specializes in using our weakness to show His strength!
Paul explained that persecution and hardship are often the lot of believers and ministers of Christ. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body,” (2nd Corinthians 4:8-10) In spite of hardships and suffering, Christ enables His disciples to keep a good attitude and persevere through the suffering!
According to Paul, the secret of perseverance in trials was to stand in faith and speak faith! “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence.” (2nd Corinthians 4:13-14) No matter whether they lived or died, Christ would be faithful to His Word!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2nd Corinthians 4:16-17)