7We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. 8We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. 9In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. 10-11We face death every day because of Jesus. Our bodies show what his death was like, so his life can also be seen in us. 12This means that death is working in us, but life is working in you.
13In the Scriptures it says, “I spoke because I had faith.” We have this same kind of faith. So we speak 14because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together with you. 15All of this has been done for you, so more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.
Faith in the Lord
16We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 17These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 18Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. This is why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.
This passage speaks loud and clear, especially in the midst of tragedies or when our news feeds are filled with stories of unimaginable persecution.
Paul reminds us that no matter how dark, dire, and depressing the events happening around us are, if we stand firm we will not be crushed. We might experience physical suffering, but we live with eternal perspective. Our bodies are temporal, but our purpose is eternal.
We are called to change our perspective and turn to truth over feelings.
What a beautiful message of hope! In the midst of suffering, there is nothing better for believers to do than to offer our jars to carry his light to a troubled and suffering world. It is a stark change in perspective and a sharp call to attention.
“These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen” (vv 17-18).
It’s easy to get swept up in the swirling chaos of our physical surroundings, but we’re living in light of eternity, and that’s what matters most!
God, we pray that every day you continue to increase our awareness of the plight of people around the world who are hopeless, helpless, and in desperate need of a Saviour, and that we will be faithful to do our part to be and bring light into the darkness. Amen.