Tuesday, January 11, 2000

2 Corinthians 4:5-9

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;"
2 Corinthians 4:5-9 

You know, I have never put these two groups of verses together before. I used to use verses 5-6 a lot on my mission, I think they are amazing... on or off a mission, the focus of our lives should be Christ, and not ourselves... and that God hath shined in our hearts part is so cool... verse 7 I don't usually even quote, but there is this Christian group that I like, called Jars of Clay... I think they like the scripture, and it is really cool, showing that this incredible light that God gives us isn't reflected well in our little mortal selves... but that it illustrates the incredible power of God, to work through such imperfect tools... and makes it obvious that it is *him* broadcasting the light, and not us. Then, there are verses 8 and 9, which are also incredible, but which I always use as kind of comfort scriptures... but you know, I think they do go together. I think the reason that we can be troubled and perplexed and persecuted and cast down, and still be okay is *because* God hath shined in our hearts. God's spirit speaks to us, and we know that no matter how far down we are, how many obstacles are in our way, how hopeless it all seems on the outside... that we don't need to be distressed, or in despair... because we are not forsaken. We are not destroyed. We are still alive, learning, growing, and we have God fighting for us... so no matter how bad it seems to get, we turn the page and the story gets better...

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