“But we have this treasure in earthen containers, so that the extraordinary greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9
When Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9 about “this treasure in earthen vessels” he’s telling the church in Corinth that their value and their strength is found within, not because of their humanity, but because of the presence of the living God in them. So, because God lives and dwells within, any person who is afflicted on every side is not crushed; any person who finds himself perplexed does not despair; any person who finds himself persecuted is not abandoned; and any person who is struck down is never destroyed.
These experiences are common to those of us who are of African descent. But, we can take heart, that we as a people, have not been crushed, nor abandoned nor destroyed, because we have within our earthen vessels a treasure. We have within our earthen vessels a hope. We have within our earthen vessels Black joy…a God-given joy that wells up regardless of circumstance. Within our earthen vessels, we have the very presence of God. We have Black gold. Our vessels are earthen, but the God who dwells inside of us individually and collectively is a treasure that gives us value, joy, strength, and hope.
Pastor R. Mario Howell