A Testimony of Thankfulness from one who has this Treasure in an Earthen Vessel
Forgive me for being a little teary tonight, but I just want to thank the Lord for my personal salvation. When I think about the goodness of Jesus and all that He’s done for me, my soul cries, “Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.” It’s been forty-four years now since the Lord came into my life and made me a new creature in Christ Jesus. I am happy to say that I have been saved longer than I was unsaved. In the year of 1975, the Lord washed my sins away and made me a new creature in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV):
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV) says:
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
As Christians, we are the “earthen vessels” that the Scripture speaks of. We became new creatures in Christ Jesus because we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We still live in the same earthly bodies that we had before we were saved and as Christians, we go through the same kind of problems that non-Christians go through. The storms of life such as sadness, tears, troubles, fears, and trials will come. But what makes the difference for us as Christians? The difference is that we have the heavenly treasure of Jesus Christ living on the inside of us. The afflictions of life do not defeat us once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Through our weaknesses, brokenness, and troubles we are more than conquerors. Through our sufferings, we are opened up to Christ’s abundant grace. His strength is therefore revealed in our bodies.
I would like to share a personal testimony about a severe trial that Jesus took my family and me through. My only son and only child would be fifty-one years old in December of this year were he still alive on earth. He suffered an aortic aneurysm when he was twenty-nine years of age and lived for ten years, then died at age thirty-nine. He was blessed with ten relatively problem-free years of life following an aneurysm. We will be eternally grateful to God for those ten years because many do not survive an aortic aneurysm. However, during the closing six months of his life, he suffered complications from the aneurysm that included strokes, surgery, and cardiac arrest with resuscitation. For six months after his near-death, he struggled to live for his wife, daughters, and for me. We experienced the pain of his struggles right along with him and it strained us, drained us and took us to the edge of sanity at times. Watching him go in and out of consciousness, fighting to live, was emotionally almost unbearable at times. After six months of battles in which we all learned to pray in ways we never knew we could achieve, the Lord took him home to Heaven. He was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost when his suffering began and His suffering was over. Those of us who remain here on earth still long for him and miss him in an incredible way but we who are saved know that we will see him again because he is safe with Jesus. Being Christians did not and does not shield us from suffering. But the Christ that lives within us, our heavenly treasure in earthen vessels, made and continues to make the difference. That trial did not break us; it only made us stronger. It was the Heavenly treasure within, Jesus, that made us strong. Through our suffering, we were opened up to Christ’s abundant grace. His strength was therefore revealed in our bodies.
As a result of my own many trials of life I am able to say, “my Hallelujahs” and my “Thank You Jesus” belong to God. The kind of suffering that my family went through for the final six months of my son’s struggle to live might have caused some to turn to alcohol or drugs for relief. Some might have gone into deep depression or might have lost their minds. Some might have gotten bitter and turned against God. But that didn’t happen to us. Why? We were able to praise God through the trial and give Him glory because of the treasure that lived inside of us. In our weakness, Jesus’s strength was manifested. A friend pinned these words to a song that helped us through the trial:
Show yourself mighty, Show yourself strong
Show yourself awesome in the midst of a storm
In the time of trouble, He’ll give you a song.
Show yourself awesome, show yourself strong.
God truly showed Himself strong in the midst of our storm. We had the treasure of Jesus in our earthen vessel and He took us through what has been one of our worst trials of life. Through prayer and worship, we were provided strength for the journey.
Some of you today may be going through hard trials and tribulations. Your storm might not be the sickness of a loved one but it is a real storm for you. Maybe you just don’t make enough money to provide for your family. Maybe someone disappointed you or failed you in some devastating way. There are a million and one ways that storms may manifest themselves to men and women, but if you turn to Jesus He will speak to the storm in your life. Mark 4:39(KJV) says
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Jesus can give you beauty for ashes. Is. 61:3 says
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
You can shift the weight of your burdens onto the shoulders of Jesus; believe me, he is well able to carry them. He loves you and He cares for you. It is our prayer that Jesus will open the spiritual eyes of those of you who are lost and that you will invite Him into your heart. My “Hallelujah” and my “Thank You Jesus” belong to God who so richly deserves them. I will be eternally grateful for the Heavenly treasure that He has placed within this earthen vessel”. May God bless you.