“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing”
2 Corinthians 4:7-8 (NASB).
Paul speaks of treasure, or of something of tremendous worth. We seldom place value on things with the same intensity that God does. Its obvious that as a culture our values aren’t really biblical. Paul understands this overriding principle of the eternal over the temporary. God’s power–treasured. Our weakness– accepted.
The rationale for this “making room” for the power must be understood. Its only when we grasp this holy ‘mechanism’ can we sparkle and shine as believers. It is of God, not of ourselves. Paul says that we are afflicted in everyway imaginable. From disease, to injury, to difficult relationships, to a simple toothache. Believers run the full gamut of affliction.
It all is significant, it all means something!
As a former Army medic, some of the worst injuries were “crushing” ones. The human body experiences things that are so heavy that they simply collapse. At times like these it seems the best you can do is make a pile. To be crushed is a terrible thing.
He says that we are “perplexed”. The word means, “to feel completely baffled by.” It’s when something is so complicated that we can’t figure it out. Have you ever been given a ‘Rubik’s Cube?’ You twist and turn, trying to get the same colors on the same side. Every move affects the outcome. And you just can’t seem to get it right. (I once peeled of all the colored stickers off and re-stuck them, but I was having “ego problems” that day.)
God gives His children a spiritual ‘Rubik’s Cube.’
It maybe a family crisis, or a medical issue. You could be trying to figure out your spouse. But the problem is that it totally baffles you. There is no rhyme or reason that you can see. Everyday you try again and again.
There are some things that so confuse and mystify that we begin to doubt everything we have been taught. But, we are not to despair. Despair is not for the believer. We may not understand, we are baffled by the present circumstances. We may come close, but we can not despair. God has promised that he will use this time of affliction, and its outcome will be glorious.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
In the KJV of Romans 8:38, the phrase used is “nor things present.” What is your present predicament? It cannot separate you from the love of God. He cares for you, even if the moment is hard and miserable. God often tests His real friends more severely then the lukewarm ones.
At the end, God will not look you over for medals, or diplomas, He will look you over for scars.
- Extra-Tough Rubik’s Cube of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- As If It Wasn’t Hard Enough To Peel the Stickers Off a Rubik’s Cube (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Treasure In Jars Of Clay (todaysanewday.wordpress.com)
- Ed Miliband’s Rubik’s cube record makes him ‘strategist or copycat’ (telegraph.co.uk)