II Corinthians 4 is a good place to look if you have ever felt like you just don’t measure up to self-imposed standards or to the standards that other people have set up for you. If you have ever felt like you are too insignificant or too young or too simple minded or too sinful to be of any use to God; If you have ever felt like your life is just too messed up to make a difference in the world, then this is a word of hope for you.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels to show
that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.”

What Paul is telling his friends in Corinth is not new news. God has a history of choosing unlikely people to bear His word. Most of us grew up with the mistaken notion that everyone in the Bible, with notable exceptions like Judas and Jezebel, were paragons of virtue. We somehow think that we need to be just like Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Peter, and Paul. But when we begin to read the stories, we realize that, they too, had problems just like everybody else. Every one of them had what by today’s standards are moments of great failure. In fact, Scripture is loaded with illustrations of people who made tremendous mistakes with their lives. Yet, somehow, God’s love and His plans are revealed in the midst of the failings of his chosen people. It is through weakness that God’s strength is revealed.

Friends, we are never going to feel like our lives are much to look at; we are never going to feel like we measure up. Our lives are too fragile. We are easily broken; we are easily led astray. But the good news of the Gospel is this: The ones who don’t have it all together are the ones through whom God chooses to work. It is through our frailty, though our weakness that we find the true strength of God.

That’s grace, and God offers it abundantly to all those who just don’t measure up.

Pastor Daniel