2 Corinthians 4:1-16 NIV
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Chronicles 16:9 MSG – God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help. Now you’re in trouble—one round of war after another.
2 Corinthians 2:16-17 NKJ – 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:5 NKJ – Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
The sufficiency of Christ helped Paul get through:
- Negative reactions to his ministry
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 MSG – 13 They’re a sorry bunch—pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. 14 And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. 15 So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.
2 Corinthians 3:1-5 NKJ – 1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV – I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
- Painful affliction in his ministry
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NJV – 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
2 Corinthians 11:21-30 MSG – 21 I shouldn’t admit it to you, but our stomachs aren’t strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff. Since you admire the egomaniacs of the pulpit so much (remember, this is your old friend, the fool, talking), let me try my hand at it. 22 Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I’m their match. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can’t believe I’m saying these things. It’s crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I’m going to finish.) I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. 24 I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, 25 beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. 26 In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. 27 I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. 28 And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. 29 When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut. 30 If I have to “brag” about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NKJ – 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Timothy 4:17 NIV – But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV – 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
Romans 8:28 KJV – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.