Some days I wonder why God would place his Spirit in humanity, entrusting His faithful to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It seems to me that the good news of salvation through Jesus is such a priceless treasure that is should be contained in something more secure than a fragile body of flesh vulnerable to all kinds of threats. Yet Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves (NASB).”
It is the very fact that God’s power is manifested through us that enables others to see that the power of the gospel of Jesus to save is from God, not from us. Because of our weakness, our vulnerability, God’s greatness shines through us. People will see it is our faith in Jesus, our devotion to serving God, that empowers us; not anything we do on our own. It is our earthen vessel that is the perfect container for carrying God’s word of hope.
People will see that God’s faithful “are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).” They will see that we are “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body (verse 10).” Within our fragile earthen vessel, clay shaped by God’s hand, we are the perfect witness of the hope Jesus offers.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)