by Terry J. Hallock

Living in the Light
Terry J. Hallock
2nd Corinthians 4
January 30, 2000

2nd Corinthians 4, beginning at verse 7, gives us the description of a unique group of people. "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."

It is clear these people did not live in an ivory tower free from life's sufferings. They had difficult problems in their life. They've experienced things that made no sense. They knew moments of cruel persecution and some of their sufferings brought them to the point of death. However, there was a radical life-altering presence in their lives that set them apart from others. Paul described it as treasure from God housed in a jar of clay. Because of this treasure these people were not spiritually and emotionally crushed when hard pressed by problems. They weren't thrown in to despair when confronted with unreasonable circumstances. They didn't feel God had abandoned them when persecution touched them. Best of all this wonderful treasure covered them with an impenetrable shield of protection that would not allow them to be destroyed even when they were struck down by their sufferings.

Who were these people and what was the treasure that allowed them to live a life of hope even in hopeless moments? They were Christians and the treasure they carried was "the light." "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light ...

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