It is God himself, in his mercy, who has given us this wonderful work of telling his Good News to others,[a] and so we never give up. We do not try to trick people into believing—we are not interested in fooling anyone. We never try to get anyone to believe that the Bible teaches what it doesn’t. All such shameful methods we forego. We stand in the presence of God as we speak and so we tell the truth, as all who know us will agree.

If the Good News we preach is hidden to anyone, it is hidden from the one who is on the road to eternal death. Satan, who is the god of this evil world, has made him blind, unable to see the glorious light of the Gospel that is shining upon him or to understand the amazing message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is God.[b] We don’t go around preaching about ourselves but about Christ Jesus as Lord. All we say of ourselves is that we are your slaves because of what Jesus has done for us. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made us understand that it is the brightness of his glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us[c]—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 10 These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did; so it is clear to all that it is only the living Christ within who keeps us safe.[d]

11 Yes, we live under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord, but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying bodies. 12 Because of our preaching we face death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you.

13 We boldly say what we believe, trusting God to care for us,[e] just as the psalm writer did when he said, “I believe and therefore I speak.” 14 We know that the same God who brought the Lord Jesus back from death will also bring us back to life again with Jesus and present us to him along with you. 15 These sufferings of ours are for your benefit. And the more of you who are won to Christ, the more there are to thank him for his great kindness, and the more the Lord is glorified.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. 17 These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! 18 So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:1 of telling his Good News to others, implied.
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:4 who is God, literally, “who is the image of God.”
  3. 2 Corinthians 4:7 this light and power that now shine within us, implied.
  4. 2 Corinthians 4:10 who keeps us safe, implied.
  5. 2 Corinthians 4:13 trusting God to care for us, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy(A) we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.(B) Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;(C) we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.(D) On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience(E) in the sight of God. And even if our gospel(F) is veiled,(G) it is veiled to those who are perishing.(H) The god(I) of this age(J) has blinded(K) the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ,(L) who is the image of God.(M) For what we preach is not ourselves,(N) but Jesus Christ as Lord,(O) and ourselves as your servants(P) for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a](Q) made his light shine in our hearts(R) to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.(S)

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

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b](AE) Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith,(AF) we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead(AG) will also raise us with Jesus(AH) and present us with you to himself.(AI) 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving(AJ) to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart.(AK) Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly(AL) we are being renewed(AM) day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.(AN) 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,(AO) since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Gen. 1:3
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:13 Psalm 116:10 (see Septuagint)
  3. 2 Corinthians 4:13 Or Spirit-given
New International Version (NIV)

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