"But 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." -2 Corinthians 4:7-8 (ESV)
Adam is the Hebrew word for man. Scholars also agree that the name refers to red and ground. God formed Adam’s body from the ground, likely red clay. People say that humans have feet of clay; even those most admired remain vulnerable to fundamental faults and weaknesses. Apostle Paul saw himself as a jar of clay, a human being who carried within, the glory of God.
Earthenware made from clay is breakable, but also moldable. Skilled potters can transform raw clay into vessels of beauty and function. Jesus Christ takes what is earthy and sinful to dramatically change it. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ transforms the vilest man into a man of integrity and purpose.
Christ in us, the hope of glory, is seen through our brokenness. Such light does not shine through impenetrable walls of pride and self-sufficiency. Only in our brokenness can we know who Jesus is. In our weaknesses, His strength arises to lead us to victory. His forgiveness in our shame renews our hope for a better life.
God knew us in advance and chose us to become like his Son. He conforms us to the image of His Son through pressure. Problems perplex us and yet do not bring us to despair. Troubles afflict us yet they do not crush us, for out of the darkness there always shines a great light. Our humanness makes it plain that the power to overcome all things comes from God in Christ Jesus resident within us. And for this, we shout "glory"!