7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
From my years doing pottery, I love this passage! Our earthly bodies are like these jars of clay. They develop cracks or even break, because these jars of clay are not permanent, only temporary housing. God has the permanence, not us, and that’s so we remember to give God the praise.
Sure, we have difficulties. Heart wrenching, soul crushing hardships. Hard pressed from every side, like the walls are caving in on us. We will not be crushed. We are uncertain about our future, but with God beside us, we need not despair. Whatever we have to face has the potential to bring us down, but we may persevere through faith in Jesus Christ. He died for us. He gave to us everything he had. His death became the means whereby we have life – his life – revealed in us. Whatever we face is but the reflection of what Jesus faced, so that we may be witnesses of his resurrection power in the Holy Spirit. Nothing is too much for God, so whatever courage, whatever hope, whatever resources we can gather in the face of hardship serves only to give God praise. His life is in us. What a privilege. We need to guard it well.
We pray for those who are facing difficulties today, whether from medical issues or financial problems or job loss or persecution or injustice. Give each of us the resources we need to keep our focus on you. We are only temporary residents of this planet, but you are eternal. Let us give you praise in Jesus Christ. Amen.