The Treasure of God’s All-Surpassing Power 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
2 Corinzi 4:7-12 “Ma noi abbiamo questo tesoro in vasi di terra, affinché questa grande potenza sia attribuita a Dio e non a noi. Noi siamo tribolati in ogni maniera, ma non ridotti all’estremo; perplessi, ma non disperati; perseguitati, ma non abbandonati; atterrati, ma non uccisi; 10 portiamo sempre nel nostro corpo la morte di Gesù, perché anche la vita di Gesù si manifesti nel nostro corpo; 11 infatti, noi che viviamo siamo sempre esposti alla morte per amore di Gesù, affinché anche la vita di Gesù si manifesti nella nostra carne mortale. 12 Di modo che la morte opera in noi, ma la vita in voi.”
     In the previous chapter, Paul speaks of his office as an apostle. In this chapter, he details the price he paid for this office. As we read the list of troubles and trials thrown at him from the world, the church at Corinth and other places on his missionary journeys, we have to consider how we would stand up under such conditions. There were external and internal pressures in Paul’s life: hard-pressed on every side, persecuted and abandoned are external pressures, but perplexity is an internal pressure. The mind might ask the question, “Why is this happening to me? Am I doing something wrong?” Or we may have a list of questions and/or complaints to God. Paul faced both the external and internal pressures of life and was not defeated by them. He had a resounding response for all of us: I am NOT crushed, abandoned, destroyed or living in despair! 
     How was Paul able to maintain his focus during times of tribulation? Because he knew three valuable lessons about the treasure of God (the Gospel). First, he remembered what preceded every trial (external and internal): The eternal treasure was in jars of clay; things that break easily and have no real value. The metaphor is clear that even when the outside is broken into pieces, what is inside can never be crushed or destroyed. Second, he remembered the words “but not” which is mentioned four times: “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” When we have the treasure of God in us, we are never without hope. Third, he remembered God’s all-surpassing power (literally meaning to go beyond our measurement) that would renew his mind from despair, encourage his faith when persecuted and remind him that God never abandons His own.
Pray with me: Lord, I confess that sometimes I have forgotten that my treasure is in You. Help me to remember in every situation of life, Your all-surpassing power is at work in me.


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