Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich;
having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
~ 2 Corinthians 6:10
Paul, Jesus’ ever suffering apostle reminds the Corinthians and in so doing reminds us, that grace and joy can persist amid affliction when we hold things in faith. Joy can persist even in our fragile, ever changing bodies and lives. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” he notes. In some ways, we can often miss God’s gift of joy in all circumstances, because we often spend our lives trying to secure and fortify those clay jars into something that we feel is indestructible and cannot be taken away from us.
We seek security instead of faithfulness. We look for ways to make joy something we create for ourselves, rather than a gift given to us by a gracious God. While we try to secure our joy in a way that it cannot be taken from us, Paul argues that our joy comes from God alone. Because joy comes from God, we cannot secure it, nor do we have to defend it.
Joy comes from the assurance, even when it is not seen that God is “making all things new” perhaps in ways we could never envision or expect, but perhaps in a way far better than we can imagine. In the midst of our own poverty, our own sorrow, we need to trust in the God who promises new life beyond hardship, and riches beyond those we could secure for ourselves.