The first sentence in 2 Corinthians 4:16 is, “So we do not lose heart.” It is important that we do not lose heart. This is what Paul is going to talk about. Notice in 5:6, “So we are always of good courage.” Look at 5:8, “Yes we are of good courage.” We must not give up and we must not despair. Remember that the fourth chapter opened with the same words. Since we have this ministry by the mercy of God we do not lose heart (4:1). Now the context of this hope for us to not lose heart is amazing. Paul has described that he is afflicted and struck down, yet he does not lose heart. He is persecuted and perplexed but he does not lose heart. They are always being given over to death, but they do not lose heart (4:11). What is the hope that we have so that we can remain strong? What is the hope given to us so that we will not lose heart even though we are clay jars carrying the treasure of the gospel? This is what the apostle Paul is going to give to us in this paragraph: 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:20.
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