A Clay Vessel

January 12, 2021

2 Corinthians 4

“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.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Big Idea: By God’s grace, our weakness is not total.   

God has given us an unimaginable treasure. The Holy Spirit of the Living God lives inside of us and we carry around His presence every day. Yet that treasure is not framed by gold and jewels but in the clay jar of a mortal body. We are beaten up, worn out, and our weakness is exposed at every turn. If you are like me, at this point in the pandemic, you are feeling your frailty constantly. We don’t know what to do and if we did there is no assurance that we would be able to carry it out. Like a ceramic coffee cup dropped on the floor, we simply do not have the strength for our situation. 


Paul says that “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.” God has chosen our weakness as His vessel and so He has promised that we may go through pain, but it will never overwhelm us. It is a lie to say that God will never give us more than we can handle, but these jars of clay are steel reinforced within! God never gives us more than He can handle. Our outward man is dead while He lives, but the spark of the resurrection of Jesus is renewing us day by day.

Friend, you may be grieving. You may be overwhelmed. You may be exhausted. You may look around and think: “I just can’t do this!” And you are right. You can no more live the life God has called you to than Peter could walk on the water. When we walk in the light of the death of Jesus, turning from sin and walking by faith, the storms of life may batter us but they will not overcome us. If I go to the store and buy something new and bulky, the designer’s primary concern is not how it will look in my car. It will just be in my car for a little while, its function will be revealed when it gets to its final home. Our life is exactly like that. The waves are temporary; God has not ultimately made you with them in mind. Those unseen things, grasped only by faith in Jesus, are the eternal things. They are what will last. Never grow so arrogant that you believe you are a golden jar, but never fall into the despair that forgets Who you belong to and what Treasure you hold. 

Discussion Idea: When someone is in a crisis, one of the first steps is to identify the resources they have to deal with the problem (family, counseling, rehab, whatever). We do this kind of self check all the time and feel overwhelmed when we think the resources do not match the task. Why do you think we overlook the strength of God within us?

Prayer Focus: Praise God for your weakness in some specific way, maybe going around your family and allowing each person a chance to speak, that nothing about the jar would distract from the treasure.