The hardships we endure
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. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
God’s servants do not have power in themselves for their adequacy is found in Christ alone. In this way, when we serve God, He is the one that receives honor and glory. From the text, Paul continued with the theme of jars of clay containing the treasure; the gospel message of salvation. One of the misconceptions that have been promoted is that when you serve God faithfully, you are spared from experiencing difficulties. This was not the case for the Apostle Paul. He described the common struggles in the life of every believer. They are called upon to endure the constant barrage of problems. As followers of Christ, we are not exempted from difficulties for through these experiences we learn to trust God’s ways. We are not even spared from subtle dangers; “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake.” There will be times that going through trials in life could be perplexing, yet because of the treasure within, we do not give up and give in to despair. We know that in the midst of what we are struggling, we are not alone for God is with us. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). So let's not be misled, we followers of Christ. No matter how faithful, godly, unselfish, and admirable we think we are, we are every bit as human and subject to the perils of life as any other person on earth. There was a purpose to all this suffering. The goal was that the life of Jesus might also be revealed in our body. Paul taught throughout his epistles that the reward for those who suffered for Christ was a resurrection body for eternal life. “My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).
Noel De Guzman