Thursday, December 29, 2005

Broken Clay Jars

Sometimes it is difficult to understand why we suffer so much.

2 Corinthians 4:6-11

6 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 the glory of God in the face of Christ.

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 be revealed in our mortal body.

This is a good picture of our suffering I think. We fallen humans are pretty fragile, much like clay pots. A little pressure, and people begin to see what we are really made of.

As prideful people, we hate windows into our soul. We tend to keep our exterior well polished, we keep enough distance that most people do not notice the ugly cargo we hold.

As Christians however, we are indwelt by the holy spirit. Our cargo is a treasure. Instead of our insides being something to be hidden, we should be proud to have it spill out. These cracks, which are windows to our soul, can be the most beautiful features of our persons.

Our weaknesses become His strength. We should rejoice when we are tested, because it is only then that our dependence on Him is apparent.


At 10:26 PM, Blogger jpe said...

So the Holocaust was a pedagogical excercise? Six year-olds are raped so that I can learn about the light of Christ? (insert natural evil, if you must)

Sorry, I don't buy it.

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Josh R said...

No, Evil exists because of the selfish and Godless actions of fallen man.

As long as we are in this world, suffering is going to happen, and we are going to be tested.

We have a choice in how we respond to this suffering. We can react in the flesh, and repay evil with evil. This response testifies to our belief in the institutions and morality of this world. On the other hand, we can react faithfully and selflessly, and testify God's empowerment in our lives.

Suffering doesn't happen in order to cause teaching. But teaching does happen in the midst of suffering.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger bluesbaby said...

I clicked on this because I was drawn to the title. The ttile of my blog is "Cracked Vessels Dripping Time." So I thought that was an interesting connection and agreed so wholeheartedly with what you were saying that I kthought it had to be a God thing.I really enjoyed what you had to say!! You are very right. I hear what you are saying about showing polished outsides. I really hate that. The more polished other Christians seem, the less I feel like I belong. There was a time when I just wanted to quit church because of this. I am, after all, in my brain all day. So I know exactly what kind of terrible nonsense flows through there. That is the danger in the polish. How many people feel like they can never belong with us because we are too clean for them? God blessed me with a new understanding of sin and I will share it and share it till everyone gets sick of hearing it. If we cling to the fact that we are all sinners, we are in the safe zone. It means that we are no better and no worse than anyone else. And when we really soak that in, we can set ourselves free and everyone else around us will stop trying to appear holy too. I look all together on the outside, but I am a testimony to God's glory because my brain has been a nightmare for most of my life. But God is good and he saves me a little bit more every day...I couldn't agree more about letting people see into our souls. I hope you will check out my blog at Some of it might offend really conservative Christians, but sometimes people need to get offended...I think jesus thought that too.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Claire said...

Wonderful! can I borrow this for my blog - i talk about broken clay pots (i am one!) and this says exactly what I would like to say on teh subject so beautifully.

thanks for the wisdom too :o)


At 11:37 PM, Blogger Josh R said...

Claire, Feel free to repost, Just provide a link back if you don't mind..

Bluesbaby, I subscribed to your feed, and look forward to your blog. I am fairly conservative, but I am uncomfortable with our tendancy to be better known for our politics than our love for one another. It looks like you and I are on the same page at least there.

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Joann said...

We suffer because Jesus suffered and died for our sins. It is a shame, however, that some Christians choose to give Christianity a bad name by acting as though they are so clean and well polished they believe that they are too good for the rest of us sinners, so they would rather reject us than accept us and love us the way God intended.


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