As we’ve been studying Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, we’ve seen that God wants His glory to reside in us. He wants the world around us to be drawn to Christ by watching how we live. This is an awesome responsibility.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7-8
This brings us to the greatest question of all. Why would God ever want to place His glory into clay pots? We may never fully be able to answer that.
But the truth is the truth. God has placed His glory in us for a reason. He wants all of creation to see His glory at work.
More than that, it’s proof that God’s power is at work in us. The word translated as all-surpassing is a Greek word that means to throw beyond.
It’s an athletic term. In a competition like a javelin throw or the discus, all the competitors achieve about the same distance. Then someone throws far beyond all the others. That’s what this term all-surpassing means.
The power that God wants to work in us is so far beyond anything we could accomplish on our own. It becomes obvious that there’s a God who loves us and operates in us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Paul talks about the evidence he sees of God’s power at work. Everyone faces difficulties and challenges. It’s what results from these times that makes a difference. He lists four proofs of God at work.
Hard-pressed but not crushed. That literally means that sometimes we seem to be crowded, but we cannot be boxed in. Nothing the enemy does will be able to stop God’s plan.
Perplexed but not in despair. This means that sometimes there seems to be no way out. Yet even in those times, we don’t give up. We expect God to make a way through, and our faith is rewarded.
Persecuted but not abandoned. This means that sometimes it seems like we’re being pursued, chased, or hunted. In our society, during times like this, it’s every man for himself. But, in God’s kingdom, we’re never deserted or forsaken. We can always run into God’s presence to receive His grace.
Finally, struck down but not destroyed. This is just like it sounds. I think about the Rocky movies.
The enemy gets in a solid punch. We go down and it looks like the fight is over. Then, before the count reaches 10, we’re on our feet again. That must totally frustrate the enemy.
Never give up your trust in the Lord. Even when things look the worst, God is at work in you. Expect to see the power of the Holy Spirit bringing you through the tough times.
Question: How have you experienced the power of God work in you?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi