Be Still Know
READ: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NLT
‘We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.’
I wonder how strong or weak you think you are. It can be hard to admit our weaknesses and vulnerabilities but here Paul does so in the most open way. He laid bare the way in which he had been knocked about in ministry. He had faced pressures from every direction and was happy to admit how weak he felt. But through it all he had not been defeated and he was clear that the reason for that was the power of God. He was just a fragile clay jar. All credit for his survival in ministry must go to God.
When things go wrong it is easy to conclude that we are in the wrong place. We work with the mistaken assumption that if we are in the place where God wants us to be everything should be going smoothly. The fact is that God has lots of tough work that needs to be done and, as Paul discovered, when we are obedient to God we may be pushed to our absolute limits.
The importance in all of this is to know ourselves and to know God. We need to recognise that we are always somewhat fragile, and that God is able to strengthen us whatever the circumstances. Paul’s candid testimony should encourage us to be absolutely honest about what we are going through in the knowledge that God can cope. It is only as we acknowledge our personal limits that we are able to discover the limitless love and power of God.
QUESTION: When have you been pushed to your limits, and what did you learn about God?
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that you are not only perfectly strong but also perfectly loving, Amen.
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