Inner Radiance (2 Cor 4:11-12)

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:11–12, KJV)

When you go into a jewelry store, you will notice that the goods are in display in a glass case. That is so you can see the various goods without the ability to touch them. A high-end jeweler can make a person a custom ring. Let us say you might have a lot of money and want a custom diamond ring made. You can go into the shop and the jeweler will take a case of diamonds out of a safe. He will place a black cloth on top of the display case, take one diamond out of the case, and place it on top of the black cloth. The reason for using the black cloth is so that the radiance of the light shining on the diamond appears the brightest in the contrast of the dark background. If the diamond were to be viewed sitting on the glass display case, it would not look nearly as glorious as when it is positioned on the black cloth.

In the previous verses, Paul wrote of the hardships of being a minister of the gospel. He concluded by stating that the darkness he and his team endured had the positive effect of manifesting Jesus in their lives. In other words, it was in the darkest of backgrounds that the glorious light of Jesus was revealed in them.

Now, Paul and his team were enduring much persecution and other hardships. Yet, while most of us who profess Christ today are not enduring such persecution, we all still endure various hardships. Many will sacrifice their wants and desires for the sake of the kingdom. We all will encounter dark times. It may be from the abuse of others, broken relationships, severe illnesses, financial hardships, a loss of income, you name it. Yet, it is in the midst of these dark times that the light of Christ in the believer can shine out its brightest in the midst of darkness.

I have met many such people in my Christian life. People who are going through the most severe trials and these have encouraged me by their countenance. They held to the faith. They loved the Lord. They demonstrated joy in the Lord even when most natural people would have done the opposite. In the darkest times of life, you can see the Lord shining brightly in these people.

When you encounter trials of various kinds, remember this. Your faith will shine out boldly. Draw near to the Savior for you do not know the influence that you are having on those around you who are walking in darkness.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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