“Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (GNT)
Willpower sure sounds like a great thing. Most people need willpower and struggle with it at the same time. We start every year with well-intentioned resolutions for improving our lives. But within a few weeks, our ability to stick to those plans has all but waned. The New Year’s resolutions are replaced by other changes we want to make in our lives. These new changes will require a different approach and concentrated willpower. Willpower is real and able to make a difference, but it is a finite commodity. God is the energy driver in your life. God says He will give you the power you need, no matter what you’re facing
Paul starts off verse 7 in the 2 Corinthians passage by telling us that we are clay pots/jars. We are delicate and fragile. Some of us may be cracked or patched over. Some of us may have a little paint chipped off. Some of us may feel like we are barely holding together. All of us know that life brings unexpected trials. In the midst of those trials, there is little we can do on our own, and the amount of willpower we have will not change that. Fortunately, there is a power that lives inside of us that only comes from God. Yes, we are clay jars—broken, fragile, a little cracked, or patched over. But, we have a power available to us that cannot be contained. Even in our fragile state, we can make a difference, not because of our willpower or anything we have to offer, but because of everything that Jesus is. This is one of the most important and most difficult lessons we must learn; how to find strength in the strength of God.
How many times have you heard sermons about the “heroes of the faith” – people like David, Jeremiah, Moses, and Paul? It’s easy to look at the great figures of the Bible and think, “Wow, they understand something about God that I don’t.” It is not what they know as much as it was that they were able to tap into God’s strength and do extraordinary things.
I constantly hear stories of the amazing things that people are doing to further the kingdom of God. Their testimonies are present-day examples of living through God’s strength. Are those people an anomaly? I don’t think so. I believe each of us can find God’s strength the same way in our own life?
- How often do you depend on willpower?
- Jesus functioned through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Agree or disagree? How can we function this week in the same way.