Jars of Clay – Part 1
“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 NIV)
While the Bible tells us about the salvation and joy and peace we have in Christ, it also talks about the vulnerability of our condition. In his second New Testament letter to the Corinthian Church, the apostle Paul outlined in short order the many hardships he had gone through in his life as a believer (2 Corinthians 6:3-10). And despite the mental positivism that some will have us buy into in this day and age, we too have to admit that Christians cry, get hurt, get rejected by their own family members, and sometimes have bosses being nasty to them because of the very fact that they’re Christians. The reason for this, according to the Bible, is that we live in jars of clay; we’re vulnerable.
But we don’t have to be despondent when we go through things, because when our jars of clay are cracked and broken and our humanity comes through, the light inside us can shine even brighter. So, you see, it has nothing to do with how strong we feel or what our emotional state is. What should make us rejoice is that inside every Christian is the glory of God, for the Spirit of Christ lives in us. But for the glory to be seen, for the light to show forth, for the power to be made manifest, the jar of clay has to be broken. Otherwise, you won’t see what’s inside.
That’s why God permits all the vicissitudes of life, all the ups and downs and the pain and the changes we go through as Christians. In the end, it’s not about Jim Cymbala, but who’s inside Jim Cymbala. It’s not about keeping a stiff upper lip or trying to show how strong I am; it’s about people looking at me and saying, “Wow! He’s weak, yet he’s strong! He’s nothing, yet he has everything!” And I can tell them, “What God did for me, he can do for you, too!”
Read 2 Corinthians 4:5-12.