Breakable but Strong

June 2, 2024
Breakable but Strong

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 5-12 (NIV)

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For 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 God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Message: Breakable but Strong

Language of brokenness

It does not come naturally for us to talk about our brokenness…

It is not something we like to post about on social media

When someone asks how you are doing, it’s just easier to say “I’m doing fine”

And so many times there are so much pain behind the words “I’m fine”

Hidden brokenness 

Sometimes not because you are trying to hide brokenness, but just because it is too painful to talk about it

We are not skilled in talking about our brokenness are we?

Instead our brokenness are often hidden behind silence, anger, business, misguided priorities 

We even see an example of this in our community at the moment - with all the “save our hospital” signs around

Outsides looking in, see an angry community… but there are so much more emotion going on… a community that is worried, uncertain, feeling abandoned 

There’s just so much more going on beneath the surface that we are not talking about… in our community, but more so in our personal lives

And in our Scripture reading today, we find Paul openly talking about his brokenness - intentionally using language describing his brokenness (even constructing a list of brokenness)

Hear the words… hard pressed on every side… perplexed… persecuted… struck down… and even going as far as saying they are carrying around death in their bodies…

I’m sure Paul must have sat down and spend time having a long reflection to come up with the language of his brokenness

What would your list look like?

Perhaps you should take the time to reflect on the brokenness of your life and draw up your own list?

Life and death; Light and darkness

But Paul is not just listing his brokenness…

His open and honest conversation about his brokenness happens in the context of a larger conversation

It is a conversation of the interaction between life and death, and between light and darkness

The interplay of life and death, and light and darkness describes so much of what life is about, doesn’t it

We encounter death and darkness every day, don’t we?

But Paul points to life and light 

We should know that in our struggles with death and darkness there is life and light to be found

Just take that in for a minute - in your deepest struggles today, there is life and light to be found 

It is not an instant solution just to give you a pat on the back

It is the result of a search that led to a discovery 

Yes, there is life to be discovered in your struggles with death, and there is light in the darkness around you!

Strength from within

This is what Paul is going on about…

In all his brokenness and struggles, there is hope 

In the death there is life

In the darkness there is light

And it is not out there somewhere

It is from within

Through our faith and through our connection with Christ, we have life and light within us

This is where our faith really makes a difference in our lives

Not that we are protected from our brokenness, but that we carry light and life deep within us

And that we have hope for all our challenges through the strength that comes from within, through Christ

This gives Paul new language for his list of brokenness…

hard pressed on every side, but not crushed 

perplexed, but not in despair

persecuted, but not abandoned

struck down, but not destroyed

This is the message for you today… 

Take stock of your brokenness, be honest about what you experience in your struggles

And through this process of taking stock, open your heart for the light and life that Jesus brings to you

Allow Him to give you new language to you list of brokenness

Know that in Him you are strong

And know that it is through the cracks of your brokenness that light within becomes visible!


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