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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
In chapter three of Second Corinthians Paul tells some about the ministry God had called him to and at the start of chapter four he says therefore, or on account of this ministry, and seeing that we have this ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing too that we have received mercy from the hand of God, we faint not. Because God has entrusted us with a ministry, any ministry, any work; we will not faint. Who are we that God would even trust us with anything? But because of His grace and mercy He called us unto a ministry for Him. The word faint means we will not turn cowardly, lose courage, despond in view of difficulty or disappointment. Paul said also in verse 16 “we faint not”, because of the grace of God, through the thanksgiving of many that it might redound or abound to give God glory. We can see here that Paul isn’t one to quit and lay down in defeat but he has renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. He isn’t walking in craftiness or trickery nor is he preaching the Word of God in deceit but he is showing it forth trusting it’s power to speak to each person’s conscience. Verses 3-4 have been misunderstood by some for many years but all Paul is saying is; if our gospel be hid of it’s meaning, if it is obscured and not fully understood, it is hid to them who are lost and perishing, in whom the god of this world has blinded their minds. Well, if Satan has blinded them, how shall they ever be saved? Notice their minds were blinded after their own unbelief. They had already disbelieved the truth and their minds were blinded by Satan, not by God, lest at any time they should hear the Word and their minds be illuminated and opened to salvation. He went on to say we don’t preach salvation of and through ourselves but we preach Christ Jesus our Lord and we are only your servants for Jesus’ sake. It was God who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness into our darkened and sin stained heart in order to give to us the light of the knowledge of the Lord. But we have this treasure, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, in earthen vessels, or in our bodies in order that the excellency may be of God and not of us. We are only an earthen jar of clay, but it is the treasure within this vessel which gives the vessel it’s true value. We are earthen vessels in order that we may depend upon God’s power and not our own. That brings us to our thought found in verses 8-9. Paul says we who are saved and serving the Lord Jesus are made a spectacle to the world and attacked on every side. Although that is true we still faint not but we keep on going for God.
We are troubled yet not distressed Paul says at the start of verse 8. The word translated troubled actually means to be pressed on every side; oppressed in every way. We may be cramped into a small place and see no way out but take heart Paul said we are not distressed or crushed. Things may look as though they are closing in all around you but you will not be crushed by those things. Look at what Paul wrote in 7:5-6 “For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus”. When all looks bleak look around for God is fixing to send someone who will encourage you.
He also said, we are perplexed but not in despair. The word perplexed means to be without resource; to not know what to do; to be in doubt and anxious as a traveler on a journey and ignorant of which way to go. These things often brought Paul to places that he didn’t know what to do. They were surrounded by the enemy, in want and in circumstances they were not expecting but he was never in despair or without help or assistance. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me”. When they came to the point of not knowing what to do God showed up and gave them relief.
He also said that they are persecuted but not forsaken. We are perused and afflicted, harassed and punished by our enemy and adversary but we are not forsaken, deserted or made to stand alone. The Lord is with us and will always be with us. He will not lead us to things and forget about us but will go through those things with us. He told Joshua “As I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail thee nor forsake thee”. And as He said that to Moses, God is no respecter of persons and that same promise is to His children.
Then lastly Paul wrote we are cast down but we are not destroyed. We are thrown down at times by our adversary, cast down to the ground. This pictures the old Greco-Roman wrestlers where they would try to throw their opponent to the ground in order to defeat him. We may get cast down, knocked down to the ground from time to time but we are never knocked out or destroyed. We do not remain there. We will not be destroyed but we will come back victorious. Just as Jesus came back from the dead, if we are in Him He will empower us to come back from certain defeat as well.
Although these tough and difficult times do come Paul said; we faint not. Being earthen vessels there are times we get fractured and cracked. Those things happen in order to let the light within shine out through the cracks. Some have their vessels and have them so secure that the light won’t come out. Let your light shine before men that the world may see that light and glorify the Father which is in Heaven. Again God sometimes allows that vessel or earthen jar to be jarred and turned over so that the treasure within the vessel will spill out and enrich and bless others who are around. Suffering trials, persecutions and such like does not only reveal the weakness within the man; it also reveals the power and glory of God.