Do Not Fear: We have an All-Surpassing Power
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:6-9
We are hard pressed on every side… perplexed… persecuted… struck down. There’s no doubt many people reading this can relate very personally to many, or all, of the words used here. This passage from 2 Corinthians speaks directly to the result or outcome of our duels with being hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. But before we jump too quickly to the latter verses of this passage, as Maria, from The Sound of Music wisely says, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”
The foundation for our ability to not be crushed by the surrounding pressures, problems, and stresses of our lives is in the light that God shines into our hearts. God, the creator of, and source of light, spoke the words “Let there be light” on the first day of creation. The first thing that He did in creating the world was to shed light upon the darkness. God, within His very nature, is a light-begetting being. As a light-begetting being, God the Father has eternally begotten the Son, Jesus Christ, who is Himself light. He is the light that God has shone into our heart.
Here’s where we reach the climax of this passage. This beautiful, holy, and merciful treasure, has been placed in us, mere breakable and momentary jars of clay, contrasting the unbreakable and everlasting nature of this light, Jesus Christ. This contrast is the reason it is so evident that the all-surpassing power that has been given to us, in the person of Jesus, does not find its source in us, but in God.
So, it is His unbreakableness that gives us strength enough to remain firm when we are pressed down, to be confident in moments of perplexion, to continue in our assurance that God is with us in times of persecution, and to take heart in our Union with Christ when we are struck down. We do not fear, for we have been given an all-surpassing power, the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Christ.
Action Steps: Read John 8:12-18. How do Jesus’ words in his exchange with the Pharisees impact the way you see God as a light-begetting being? How can today’s passage from 2 Corinthians help us better understand what Jesus means when he calls Himself the “light of the world” here in John?