Jan12MonJanuary 12, 2015
Dr. James Boyd
If teens get their values from parents, and the knowledge of God and His greatness is THE treasure, and if it is the natural frailty of human parents that provides the opportunity for God's great power to be shown, what does this all look like? 2 Cor. 4:7-11 provides the four life-situations that provide the "teachable moments" through which the importance of knowing God's greatness can be clearly communicated.
7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (HCSB)
The first situation is one in which parents are "pressured in every way." The primary meaning of the Greek word here is to be crowded-in. The picture is of the difficulty experienced by the concert-goer who is standing at the stage of a rock concert when the entire stadium rushes the stage. The person pressed against the stage by hundreds of excited fans is "pressured in every way." This same word in Mark 3:9 describes why Jesus had his disciples get a small boat for him to stand in, so that the crowd would not "crush Him." The weakness for being controlled by people and situations is the perfect place for God to reveal His control. When a parent's personal freedom has been taken by a flood of insurmountable forces, the student needs to see the helpless plight of the parent so that he or she can also see the provision of God. Paul says that he has been pressured by forces that are beyond his control, yet he is not "crushed." The actual word here is the same word used in 2 Cor. 6:12 to refer to being "limited" or "restricted" by something. So, despite the uncontrollable pressures faced in this life, the believing parent remains unlimited or unhindered. At the very same time that the believing parent is being crushed against the concert stage by hundreds of screaming fans, she is not restricted by the immediate confines of the people pressing in around her. Why not? Because she trusts in a God who has "extraordinary power" and who will perfectly use this very situation to make that power known so that many might be drawn to Him. When your options feel limited, will you let your children see your lack of control so that they will also be able to recognize God's loving control?