2Co 4:15-16 “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
Paul has spoken of the miraculous power of God who has shined in our hearts. He has told us how this has illuminated the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus. We have seen the wonder of this great treasure being kept in earthen vessels. He has spoken of how we are cast down, but by God’s might we are not destroyed.
All of these things happen for our sakes, who are the called out assembly of the believers in Jesus Christ. This is who Paul addresses this letter to in the very first verse of this epistle. There is so much that comes to us from the many things that God brings about for our sakes. His working and preservation in our lives draws us into a deep fellowship with Him and with our Lord Jesus.
As we experience these things, we come to understand something about abundant grace. We are blessed to see God’s grace increase in our lives as we serve Him. It is not so much an increase of grace as it is our ability to comprehend His grace as it comes to us daily. We grow more sensitive to the manifestation of His grace in our lives through all that occurs for our sakes.
Comprehending abundant grace produces abundant thanksgiving. As we see the grace of God more in our lives, we are able to see the grace of God more in the lives of others. We find a drawing together with those who also understand that God gives us abundant grace, regardless of what the world might do to us. Our thanksgiving is compounded because it is not just us as individuals but all who have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
When we realize that we are clay pots (earthen vessels), we may sometimes think that our thanksgiving is not sufficient. Here, Paul assures us that the thanksgiving of many is more than enough to show the glory of God. Because of the treasure we hold, we are able to excel to the glory of God. Although we are not sufficient in ourselves, we have the sufficiency of Christ so that the glory of God may be clearly seen in us.
Because of this glorious truth, we do not give up. We do not grow so weary that we cannot continue. Age and infirmity encroach upon us far sooner than we would like to think. One day we are enjoying the flower of youth, and in the next breath that flower has faded and we are withering away. Still, we find a great joy in our hearts in the Lord that only increases even as we decrease.
At the same time that the outward man is heading to ruin, the inward man is daily renewed. Instead of finding sorrow in our failing bodies, we find a growing confidence in the grace and power of our God. As our eyes in this world grow dim, we find a great illumination in our hearts by the power of God.
May we, according to His grace, be numbered among those who are filled with thanksgiving!