2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

God’s power in us; a treasure in clay jars.  I’m not a pottery expert, but I do know that clay jars tend to break when dropped.  They are fragile.  You wouldn’t hide your valuables in clay jars because a thief could easily break the jar to steal them.  You carry the jar carefully, not wanting to stress it, not wanting to accidentally drop it. This is us.  We are like clay jars.

And yet, because of the magnificence of Christ, and His presence in us, we may be pressured, but we will not be crushed.  Not because we are some new type of high pressure clay resistant to crushing, but because of the power of God within us.  No matter the circumstance, the affliction, the hardship, the confusion or the persecution, we endure because of God’s presence in our lives.  Because we trust in God, who raises(present tense) the dead.

In light of this passage, how should a Christian respond to hardship?  What should be the difference between a believer’s response to pressure and one who does not have the presence of God in their life?  Do you give evidence of the presence of God when you are under pressure?

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