There’s a saying that has become popularized especially because of the professional athletic culture today (and tragically, because of the use and abuse of “performance enhancing drugs”) … When something is unusually powerful it is described as “…on steroids.” Well, at the risk of misuse and misapplication of the figure of speech, I read a passage this morning that I was tempted to label “human frailty on divine steroids!” Put another way (and probably a better way) the passage describes “divine empowerment in the face of human weakness!”
In the passage, Apostle Paul describes his own life filled with challenges, and that of other Christians, this way…
“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us! We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed! … We who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh! ” (From 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 ESV)!
There it is… Humanity (redeemed humanity) with all its challenges… persecution, rejection, criticism, pressure, problems, setbacks, suffering… and we could go on! Life in a fallen world – life in a Christ-rejecting world – life in this human flesh of ours (i.e. “jars of clay”)! But at the same time, divinely empowered, so that the life of Jesus may be manifest in or mortal flesh!
From the Apostle Paul, all the way to the weakest of us who follow Jesus… It possible to live “divinely empowered human lives” (and in spite of the negative associations, “human frailty on divine steroids!” It led Apostle Paul to declare from persecution and poverty in prison, “I can do all things though Him who strengthens [empowers] me!” (Philippians 4:13)