Let’s begin by reading 2 Corinthians 4:1, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not.” This ministry that the Apostle Paul speaks of here is the ministry of the Gospel. All those who know Christ as their savior are to be witnesses of this glorious Gospel of grace. We read of our privilege and responsibility in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” While we all may not have the gift of evangelism, we can certainly all “do the work of an evangelist.” All who know Christ can share Christ with others. “We faint not” refers to not allowing ourselves to become discouraged as we continue in our ministry of the Gospel.

In verses 2-6, Paul speaks of us having renounced the things of darkness, but by “manifestation of the truth” we exhibit ourselves to the world. As we see in 2 Corinthians 4:11, “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” With our lives, we manifest Christ in the world, possibly being the only witness for Christ that some may see.

In verses 7-12, Paul speaks of this treasure that we have in earthen vessels. This treasure is surely “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” as we have in verse 6. We hold this treasure in this fragile vessel which is our bodies. We are so weak, and the success of the Gospel work that we may do, is solely from the work of the Holy Spirit working in us, using us; and then working in the hearts of unbelievers to convict them of their sins and bring them to Christ. Paul said of himself in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” There is no room for pride in the believer. As Philippians 2:13 tells us, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” As weak, earthen vessels, we may go through many trials, but we are not defeated. We are the people of God, who has told us in Romans 8:37 that, “…we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Verses 13-18 gives us strength and encouragement by teaching us of our resurrection and the coming glory of our blessed savior. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 tells us, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Have you suffered? Perhaps you have been persecuted. Perhaps you have suffered the loss of loved ones or possessions. Perhaps you have lost friends because of your testimony for Christ. Scriptures assures us that our sufferings are just “light affliction” when we compare it to the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. The glory far exceeds beyond all measure the affliction we might have to endure for just a moment! To enjoy these blessed truths, we keep our eyes upon the Lord and are able to endure, and rejoice in, these things for the Lord’s sake. 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us that, “…we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen…” which simply means we walk by faith while we are in this world. (160.3)