“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 4:7-9
If we travel out west and up north, we see animals much larger and broader than deer. In Yellowstone National Park, elk roam freely. These large, long-legged animals are a light brown or tan color with cloven hooves. Their long, strong legs allow them to run very fast if they need to outrun a bear. Their antlers grow four feet above their heads, so some elk stand nine feet tall. They eat grass, shrubs and dandelions.
Elk are not afraid of the cold, rain or snow because God gave them the ability to adapt to all kinds of conditions. During the winter, elk grow a two-layered coat that is five times warmer than their summer coat. The top layer repels water like a raincoat and the under-layer traps body heat to keep them warm.
As animals adapt to weather conditions, the Lord wants us to continue serving Christ through all of life’s challenges. That’s why Paul challenged us to stay strong. “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:14).
If we rely on God’s power and wisdom, then we have lifelong survival skills to deal with every situation. Though Paul had a lot of scars, he steadfastly served the Savior. “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 4:7-9).
Paul inspired us to understand that the Christian life is doable if we look to God for supernatural strength through prayer, Bible reading and the encouragement of fellow Christians. Thus, we should continue on until we see Christ face to face. As we watch God bring us through the ups and downs of life, we learn to echo the apostle Paul: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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