Hope In Despair


Hope in Despair

The emotion of despair can paralyze and debilitate even the strongest of souls.
Pressures from every side can be perplexing; persecution can make us feel as
though we’ve been struck down. When life is filled with despair, we must not
give up. Instead we can turn to God, our loving Father, and His powerful Word to
regain focus and hope.

In 2 Corinthians 4:7 we read about a treasure, but the treasure is kept in a jar
of clay. That seems like an odd place for a treasure. Usually we would keep our
valuable treasures in a vault, in a safety deposit box, or in a strong,
protected place. A jar of clay is fragile, and easily broken. Upon further
inspection, this jar of clay reveals flaws, chips, and cracks. It’s not a vessel
of great worth or monetary value, but rather a common, ordinary vessel.

We are that earthen vessel, that fragile clay pot! Our bodies, our outward
appearance, our essential humanity, our physical disabilities, our shattered
dreams, these are all elements of our jar of clay. None of these things can
bring meaning or a sense of value to our lives. If we focus on our human side,
despair is bound to set in.

But the wonderful secret to overcoming despair is also revealed in these verses
in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4. Kept inside that broken, fragile, ordinary jar of
clay is a treasure, a priceless treasure of immeasurable worth!

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (KJV)7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that
the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are
troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in
despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also
of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway
delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not
crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck
down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 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. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at
work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (KJV)16 For which cause we faint not; but though our
outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Let God’s truth refocus your eyes today on the treasure that dwells within you.
This treasure can fill the emptiest of vessels; after all, a jar is designed to
hold something! That treasure is God himself, living within us, bringing his
abundant life. In our own humanity we have no sense of wealth or worth, no value
in this jar of clay. We are simply an empty jar. But when this humanity is
filled with diety, we receive what we were created to hold, the very life of
God. He is our treasure!

When we look only at the frail clay pot, despair is the natural result, but when
we look at the glorious treasure we hold, we are inwardly renewed day by day.
And those frailties and cracks in our clay pot? They are not to be despised, for
they now serve a purpose! They allow the life of God, our cherished treasure, to
seep out for all those around us to see.

God bless!

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