LINK: 2 Corinthians 4
While as believers, we have renounced sin in light of the gospel, unbelievers are blinded by Satan and cannot see the light of the gospel. Only when God shines His light in a person's heart will he see God. As believers we have a treasure -- the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. We see His glory through our encounter with Jesus. This treasure is not just for the future, but God lets us have it now, while we are still living in these bodies and on this earth. What a blessing!
As believers, we will face affliction in this life. But we should not lose heart. Everything that happens, including persecution, is for our good. Paul gives at least three reasons:
- It causes God's grace to spread to others, which brings glory to God
- It causes us to grow, being renewed day by day in our faith
- It produces eternal glory in us
This chapter reminds me to "count my blessings." We should remember the mercy God has extended to us and thank him for it. Paul reminds us that the message of the gospel is God's message, not ours. He is the one who shines light in people's hearts. I am free from the responsibility of changing another person! Affliction has a much greater purpose than what is visibly seen in our lives. Remember to focus on the eternal, the spiritual, rather than on the temporal, the physical.
Lord, thank you for shining your light in my heart. I pray for those around me whose hearts are in the dark and kept there by Satan. May you use me and other believers to shine your light that they may no longer be blind to you. Use the events and circumstances in my life to make me grow and to bring glory to you. In the name of Jesus, amen.