And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, we never give up.
We reject all shameful and underhanded methods. We do not try to trick anyone, and we do not distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know that.
If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing.
Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
We don't go around preaching about ourselves; we preach Christ Jesus, the Lord. All we say about ourselves is that we are your servants because of what Jesus has done for us.
For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
But this precious treasure -- this light and power that now shine within us -- is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. a So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit.
We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.
Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies.
So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you.
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, and so I speak." b14
We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you.
All of these things are for your benefit. And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are c being renewed every day.
For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!
So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)