"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us."
2 Corinthians 4:7
There are times when I am overcome with my inadequacies, my faults and insufficiencies. While there are many other people much more qualified and able than I am, God still chooses to use me. Why does God find pleasure in using me in my weakness? How is it that God uses me inabilities to bring Him glory?
"But we have this treasure..."
This treasure refers the glorious Gospel of Christ (4:4), the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (4:6). And it is this priceless treasure of surpassing value that I hold. I have this treasure.
"...in jars of clay..."
In Greek, the word for "jars of clay" literally refers to cheap, baked clay pots which were used for holding garbage and human waste. They were expendable, easily replaceable, and common. Worthless. They were not beautiful or glorious, simply used to hold filth. I am this jar of clay. I am like a lowly, cheap pot: unimportant, common, replaceable. And still God chooses ME to be the bearer of His glorious Gospel!
"...to show that the surpassing power belongs to God..."
God uses lowly, unworthy people like me so that others can only conclude that the power of the Gospel is from God. The all-glorious power of God overcomes and outshines the jar of clay... so all that's left to be seen is God's glory. God doesn't use me because of my abilities, He uses me in spite of my inabilities. He is most glorified to put Jesus on display through my weakness.
"We are afflicted in every way,
but not crushed;
but not driven to despair;
but not forsaken;
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."
I often try to cover up weakness for the purpose of appearing strong. I do my best to make myself as glorious as possible. But when others see me as glorious, they can't see Christ as glorious. So, sometimes God humbles me. He brings suffering and adversity into my life. Because through every struggle, every trial, every persecution, I am left more cracked than I was before. And the more cracked I am, the more God's glory shines through.
I am Broken. But He is seen more Glorious.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10)