TOPIC: Hard Pressed but Not Crushed.
Read: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18(NKJV)
4:1. Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
4:2. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
4:3. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4:4. whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
4:5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
4:6. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
4:7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
4:8. [We are] hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
4:9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed —
4:10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
4:11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
4:12. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
4:13. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
4:14. knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present [us] with you.
4:15. For all things [are] for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
4:16. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward [man] is being renewed day by day.
4:17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory,
4:18. while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen [are] temporary, but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.
In our text Paul shared his personal experiences in the midst of opposition to his ministry. Despite the opposition to Paul’s ministry, he rejected shameful deeds, refused to manipulate the word of God to suit himself or exploit the church of God. The truth were carefully presented to the people with a clear conscience before God and men so that no man can use the life of the messenger as an excuse to reject the gospel.
The message of the Apostle is not about himself but on Jesus Christ (vs5-6). He was so determined to preach this gospel despite constant threat to his life, despair, and perplexity. The focus was on the things not seen which are eternal but not on the challenges and difficulties of the time.
We must all strive to have a life behind our ministry.
Our life must not contradict our message even in the midst of anguish or persecutions. There will be opposition to the truth but this must never drag us to live a deceitful life or engage in shameful deeds that could destroy our faith.
In the midst of the challenges, our focus must be on Christ, knowing that He will never leave or forsake us. Every trial has an expiry date so do not allow temporary thing to take away eternal glory.
PRAYER: God help us to do your works faithfully in Jesus’ name. Amen.