This Extraordinary Power is from God and Not Us
Have you ever felt so broken that the Lord cannot use you? Or maybe you have felt so confident in your gifts that you’ve forgotten to depend on the One who gave them to you?
I have faced both of these questions numerous times with an overwhelming and humbling “Yes!” as my cry. I’m thankful for the Word of God and its ability to reset my heart and mind. I find this passage in 2 Corinthians so encouraging! Let’s dig into it a little to see what God is speaking to our fragile hearts.
Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God.
—2 Corinthians 4:7-15 (CSB)
Paul starts off verse 7 humbling all of us. We are clay jars. We are delicate and fragile. If that is not humbling enough, he continues in verses 8-10 showing us that we are not promised a pain free life. We all experience suffering. Some of us may be cracked or patched over. Some of us may have a little paint chipped off. Some of us may feel like we are barely holding together. All of us know that life brings unexpected trials. There is nothing in and of ourselves that can heal the brokenness around us.
Here is the good news that comes from this humbling beginning:
There is a power that lives inside of us that only comes from God.
In John 14, Jesus promises to send us a Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to help and guide us anytime anywhere. Jesus says in John 14:12-14:
“Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
That, my friends, is the power that lives inside of you and me. Yes, we are clay jars—broken, fragile, a little cracked, or patched over. But, we have a treasure inside that cannot be contained.
God uses our brokenness. Even in our fragile state, we can make a difference, not because of anything we have to offer, but because of everything that Jesus is.
Tapping into God’s power with the understanding that it only comes from Him makes us more aware of God’s grace.
How do we tap into God’s power?
We have to have faith and walk in the hope that Jesus so freely gives. When we claim Christ as our Lord and Savior, we start on a journey that shapes us more and more into His image. That journey is not always pleasant, but we know the end of the story without a doubt. We see in 2 Corinthians 4:14 that the end of our journey is spending eternity in perfect community with our Heavenly Father.
But until that end comes, we are to live out our lives for Christ, walking in faith, and sharing the grace that we have so freely been given.
So in our time together in this study, we are discovering that God designed us with gifts and has uniquely placed us in areas where we have influence for His kingdom. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to feel quite so heavy and scary because we have an amazing treasure living inside of us. A power like no other—the Holy Spirit.
I have been challenged to walk in faith that God will provide exactly what I need in the moment and to maintain an ongoing conversation with the Holy Spirit as I go throughout my day. I am to actively look for opportunities to share the gospel with the people around me.
These are a few questions that help me focus my day.
- Who do I rely on? Am I trying to live in my own strength or dependent on someone other than Christ?
- What do I spend most of my time doing? Am I so caught up in the day to day that I forget all of the people around me?
- Who has God placed in my life?
- How am I living in the power of Christ?