Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7-18)
In the ancient world, the phrase “jars of clay” was a metaphor for human weakness. So, what Paul is trying to tell us in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 is that there is a profound treasure found in our human weakness because our weakness reveals the working of God’s surpassing power in our lives.
Most likely, we do not like having a hard time. It brings stress, worry, anxiety - emotions we do not want to feel. However, in these challenging times, God teaches us all the more to trust in Him, and He reveals the glory of His grace and power, which miraculously leads us out of the darkness in ways unimaginable to us.
Although on the outside we may seem afflicted in every way, we are not crushed. We might be perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Why? Because it is God’s very own will to use these times to draw us into a sweeter and closer relationship with Him. How many times have we cried, “God I want to know You”? Well, in times of affliction, God is calling to His children, “I want to have a closer relationship with you”.
In our affliction, God is crucifying our fleshly desires once again so that the life of Christ may be manifested in our earthly bodies. When things are always easy, we think that we have come to a sufficient level of sanctification. We think that we have trusted God enough. We think we have served God enough. We think we know God already. However, when suffering comes, God teaches us that we are nothing. God puts us into a situation such that we really have no hope apart from Him.
At this point comes the lesson of faith. We have two options. We can reject God’s call to trust in Him and strive with our own grit and determination to create light at the end of the dark tunnel, or we can surrender all to God, knowing full well that if He doesn’t help us, we are doomed forever. In that moment, trusting God might seem like a gamble. However, God gives us His very precious promises in His Word. The greatest of all promises is Christ on the cross. He has died for our sins. He has endured the ultimate suffering so that we might have life, and there is an eternal weight of glory awaiting us in heaven.
Only when we obey and trust that God can overcome our darkness, then we will see God’s abundant goodness, wisdom, power and glory. God is faithful to His promises. That is set in stone in scripture. God will not change, nor will He ever leave His children. Yet, do we know this on an experiential level? In affliction, God is inviting us to trust in Him and to get to know Him. There is nothing in the world that compares to knowing God, and He is knocking on your door at this very moment.
Lord, thank You that the answer to affliction is found in You Yourself. Through all this, You want me to get to know You. What glory shall it be when I get to see Your full face shining in all Your wisdom, power and glory. Lord, help me to trust and obey You. You are in control of all that is going on. I surrender all into Your hands in faith. May You do what You deem best, and may Your name be glorified through all this. In Jesus’ name, amen.