"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
This is the stuff my treasures are made of :)
2 Corinthians is one of my favorite books in the Bible; each passage is so encouraging and uplifting, somehow I end up feeling as if I could have the strength to go through most anything afterwards. This chapter (2 Corninthians 4) in particular, is one that I treasure because it truly brings purpose to each difficult situation in our lives. How can I be overwhelmed or weary when I read that I will not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed? It is such a comfort to know and be reminded that "...we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh..."; this is what brings me purpose and hope, and I pray that I may always be reminded of this even in the midst of terrible (or small) afflictions and trials. I pray that whatever the circumstance, I would "never lose heart" because I am being inwardly renewed, day by day. Not because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps or found some great new self-help book. I want to be entirely dependent on the Lord, each day. Which also reminds me of another sweet passage, in Lamentations 3. What a beautiful reminder of His faithfulness in our lives.
I feel like there is so much more I could say about this chapter, it really is so rich in meaning and encouragement. But I think if I wrote any more, it might take away from the sweetness of this passage :)
I pray that whatever situation you are in, that you would be inspired to turn to the Word of God for your peace, comfort, and hope. Perhaps through this chapter or to a different one that may pertain more to your situation. And if you are content and happy where you are, if you're not really in a trial or afflicted, I pray that when you are you would cling to the comfort His word brings, and that you would be completely satisfied in Him.
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."