Rev. Brian K. Brown, Pastor, St. Mark M.B. Church
II Corinthians 4:1-10
What we have experienced in this season of life has not always been easy. There have been some setbacks, situations, stresses, strains, sickness, sadness, and sorrows and if we were able, we would erase them from our lives. But before we erase these things we need to take another look at them because wherever we are today is a result of all we’ve been through. The person we are, the wisdom we’ve gained and the trust in God we have would not have been possible had it not been for the struggles and strife, stresses and strains we’ve faced. God is taking the good, the bad, the ups and downs and is working something good so that we can be who we are today.
Paul, not knowing what we’ve gone through in this era, penned a message for our consideration for today. Paul understood that there are things that will confront our lives that we didn’t ask for. The things that we’ve been confronted with were allowed by God even in the face of our disdain or desire for them. Verses 8 and 9 of the text gives the thrust of where we find ourselves in this season.
Paul says we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted by not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed. We know the negative side of all Paul says. All of us could probably say that we’re over all of ‘this’, whatever our ‘this’ may be.
So, the question is what do we do when we say enough is enough? Paul could have made the same statement as we, enough is enough, but he chooses to show us how to handle things that are enough. He understood but suggests that there is more that we should listen to and more that we can be blessed by. In all that Paul went through he understood but he didn’t say he’d had enough.
Paul says the first thing that helped him from verse 1 was to focus on the vision. Paul would tell us that God has let us in on what he is doing, and vision is what kept Paul from saying he’d had enough. Vision here is something God wants to do, or a picture of what God can do. When we reach the breaking point we should look for a vision, a picture of something God wants to do. When Paul realized that God let him in on what he was doing, he knew it was more important than what was being done to him.
We must also realize that we did not go through what Jesus did so that we might be saved. So rather than give up ask God to show us what we can’t see and help us with what we can’t do and do for me what I can’t do for myself. God wants to show us that we want know good until we go through grief. We shouldn’t give up because God is more than enough.
Paul opens verse seven with, we have this treasure in earthen vessels and gives us the second point, which is to find a value. Paul says he was nobody, had nothing good about him but noted when he gave his life to God, God put value in something that had no value. Paul realized that the value in him was put thereby God and since he got his value and knows his worth, everything is trying to rob him of what he knows is valuable.
We should stop looking for value without and look within. The finding of value is our job, and our job is to find Christ in everything. We should stop worrying about insignificant things and put our hope and faith in that which is most important, Jesus Christ.
The final point, from verses 8 and 9 is you’ve got to finish the view. View here is a particular manner of looking at something. In these verses Paul wants us to stop looking at the first and look at the latter (i.e.. troubled but not destressed). Stop looking at the negative and see the positive. Paul knew where and what was happening in his life but chose to look at the positive and realize that it could have been worse. Things may not go our way, but God is still the way. The things God allows in our lives are not to destroy us but to develop us. We are the better because of what God is doing. The full sermon is available for viewing on YouTube.
Join us Sunday mornings in the sanctuary or via live-stream on YouTube @ St Mark MBC at 10:20 for Sunday School, worship service at 10:45 a.m., and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.