“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak,
knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:6-18
“God’s great design in all His works, is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this—is unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honor, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He brings His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance.
He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence—but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. Those who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but those who ‘do business in great waters,’ these see His ‘wonders in the deep.’ Among the huge Atlantic waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach—we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road—it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and loving-kindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means—your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved—but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.”
– Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening