Read: 2 Corinthians 4:7–18
Bible in a Year: Psalms 57–59; Romans 4
We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.—2 Corinthians 4:7
In 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake and a resulting tsunami took nearly 19,000 lives and destroyed 230,000 homes in the region northeast of Tokyo. In its aftermath, The Nozomi Project, named for the Japanese word for “hope,” was born to provide sustainable income, community, dignity, and hope in a God who provides.
Nozomi women sift through the rubble of homes and furnishings to discover broken china shards that they sand and insert into fittings to form jewelry. The jewelry is sold around the world, providing a livelihood for the women while sharing symbols of their faith in Christ.
In New Testament times, it was customary to hide valuables in the unlikely vessels of simple clay pots. Paul describes how the treasure of the gospel is contained in the human frailty of followers of Christ: jars of clay (2 Cor. 4:7). He suggests that the meager—and even at times broken—vessels of our lives actually can reveal God’s power in contrast to our imperfections.
When God inhabits the imperfect and broken pieces in our lives, the healing hope of His power is often more visible to others. Yes, His repair work in our hearts often leaves the scars of cracks. But perhaps those lines from our learning are the etchings in our beings that make His character more visible to others. —Elisa Morgan
Dear God, please show others Your power as I share the treasure of Your gospel in my broken, but beautiful life.
Brokenness can lead to wholeness.
INSIGHT: Paul declared, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (2 Cor. 11:30) because he had found strength through reliance upon God. While lamenting his “thorn in [the] flesh” (12:6-9), Paul affirmed, “I delight in weaknesses . . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (v. 10).
What areas of brokenness in your life can become pathways for Christ’s strength? Bill Crowder