But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2Co 4:7)
As one reads through the New Testament there is always a note of triumph in the testimony of the writers. We do not find them in a place of despondency and despair, but always with the confidence that God is in control and that all things are working according to His purposes. This does not mean that their lives were ones of luxury and leisure without difficulties or concerns. Quite the opposite, they often faced tribulation, persecution and so on, but in all these things they had an understanding that God would deliver them and they “would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.” (Psa 27:13) Even when they were facing the ultimate cost of discipleship and would die for their faith, they lived in the confidence they would immediately appear in glory, in the presence of the Lord Jesus and the Father. Even in their death, they would triumph!
It is important to ask ourselves the question, why were they like this? Were they a special type of person possessed of levels of courage unknown to most of us. Did they possess some super-human strength that enabled them to rise above the experience of the common man? If there was a positive answer to these questions, then we would be excluded from experiencing the same. But the verse above explains that there was nothing of them that made them extraordinary. They were as frail and weak as any of us; an earthen or clay vessel is easily shattered. It wasn’t what they were, that was the source of their joy and boldness. It was the presence of the indwelling Spirit of Christ that gave them the confidence in the face of great tribulation to expect God’s deliverance whatever they faced. It was this same treasure that maintained a life of joy in the midst of difficulty, as well as success.
This is the birth right of any person born again by the Spirit of God. A life of boldness and confidence, a life of joy and blessing in the midst of both good times and bad times. For we know our Father in heaven will be our deliverer.