We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Do you ever have days when life is hard? Of course we do. The office is hard. Home is hard. The finances are hard. Children are hard. Friends are hard. Marriage is hard. Acceptance is hard. Loneliness is hard. And when it all feels hard at the same time, you wake up in the morning dreading going to work, but when you clock out the thought of going home offers little peace. So you trudge through each day wondering how long it will last and if relief will come.
I just want to say that I’ve been there. I have been in that place when I find little motivation to get up and face the day. But I get up. And though my heart may be full of questions, depression, frustrations, and at times even anger, my mornings have been a gripping of Christ and him pulling me through another day.
One of these spells came again recently and I found myself clinging to the truth that no matter how many times I feel like I’m wasting away, crushed, or struck down, I will not be overcome!
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I’m just a jar of clay and I’m that way for a reason. There is a God who wants to show his surpassing worth in me. I wasn’t meant to out shine him, but rather he is to outshine me as he fills me and gives me the strength to overcome! There is a life to be manifested in my body. A new life. A life that clay cannot create on its own. A life endures and glorify’s God.
So I will keep holding on and encourage you to hold on too! We have a faithful God! Even on the days that feel so dark and crushing, don’t stop clinging to him. Remind yourself what is true. Preach it to yourself until your emotions are forced to confirm to that reality rather than just reacting to your circumstances. You are not forsaken, you need not despair, you will not be destroyed! You will overcome, because the one in you has already overcome!
And it is not just victory in the circumstances of life that feel so heavy, but also from the greatest threat to overtake us. Our own sin. Of all the things in this life that bring me the lowest, it is having my sin ever before me.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. – Psalm 51:1-3
Oh how my heart cries out with David’s! My selfishness, my pride, my temper, my procrastination, my lack of kindness… I feel them along with many others that haunt me and bring a myriad of afflictions to my soul. But then Christ, as he always does, rises up within me! His light pushes back the darkness as he cares for my soul. He reminds me that even these great threats will not overtake me, because on the cross he overtook them! And it is through that victory he gives me new life! I share in his victory!
So brother or sister in Christ, hold on! Keep praying, stay in his word, and keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that the strength you need will arrive in the next step–right when you need it.
Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. Find more of them here.