If we have something valuable, we try to keep it in a place of safety. Safe deposit boxes, safes, bank accounts, garages, and so on. The goal is, protect the valuable. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, the apostle Paul says that the treasure of God is placed in a dirt container. Imagine that, God"s blessing, power, love, resources, all that heaven has is put in a place that is hardly able to contain it or keep it safe. Wow!! What a strange principle.
God does this so that his power is clearly evident to all. It's Him and not us. It is so amazing that God would willing risk His treasure, His reputation and His name even if to demonstrate His power to the world. I guess that really describes His love for us and His confidence in His son.
The passage goes on to describe the difficulties that come to bear on the believer, I believe because of the treasure. Hard pressed, crushed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. In each case, one small word continues to appear. The word, "but". This is the word of faith based on this great power of God deposited in us. This word of faith defies all things contrary to God's promise. It reminds me of King David saying to Goliath, "who is it that would defy the armies of the living God". No matter what the devil has to throw at us, we have a "but" for him. That word of faith lets us defeat all the devices of the devil.
Whatever we face today, lets give the devil the, "but of faith". Verse 12 says it works every time. I think God knew after all what He was doing when he put His treasure in this strange place.
p.s. Remember we finish up talking about stress this coming Sunday. We examine where Jesus had stress and how He dealt with it. We pray tonight.