2 Corinthians 4

God's good news brings light

1 God has given us this work to speak his message. Because he has been so kind to us, we are not afraid to continue. 2 We refuse to do anything secretly that we might be ashamed of. We do not tell lies. We do not change God's message to deceive people. No. We tell God's true message clearly. God himself sees that we teach people in an honest way. Everyone should understand that we only do what is right. 3 Some people may not understand the good news that we speak. They are only the people who are losing their lives with God. 4 Those people do not accept God's good news. The god of this world has confused their minds. They cannot see the light that the good news brings. That message teaches about the great power of Christ, who shows us exactly what God is like.

5 We do not speak a message about ourselves. We tell people that Jesus Christ is our Lord. Because we belong to Jesus, we have become your servants, not your masters. 6 God is the one who said, ‘Let light shine in the dark.’ And he is the one who has caused his light to shine deep inside us. Because of that, we know how great and powerful God is. We see that his power shines brightly in Christ's face.

7 God has given to us the gift to speak his message. But we ourselves are very weak. It is like we are keeping his valuable gift in clay pots. So it is clear that the great power of God's message comes from God himself. It does not come from us. 8 We receive trouble all the time, but that does not stop us. We do not always know what to do, but we are not afraid to continue. 9 We have many enemies, but we always have friends. People hurt us, but they never destroy us. 10 As we serve Jesus, we know that we may die as he died. Because of that, our lives show that we live because he is alive. 11 Yes, as we live our lives, death is always very near, because we serve Jesus. As a result, people can see in our weak, human bodies that Jesus is alive. 12 So death is near to us, even as we live. But as a result, we are bringing God's life to you.

13 This is written in the Bible: ‘I believed in God, and so I spoke.’ We also have the same kind of faith in God. So we also speak God's message, because we believe in him. 14 God raised up the Lord Jesus, to become alive again after his death. Because we belong to Jesus, we know that God will also raise us up after we die. Together with you, God will take us to be where he is. 15 In everything that we do, we want to help you. As a result, more and more people are seeing how kind God is. So people are thanking God more and more. And that shows how great God is.

4:13See Psalm 116:10.

16 That is why we are not afraid to continue our work. Yes, our bodies are getting older and weaker. But our spirits are becoming stronger every day! 17 We have these little troubles that continue for a short time. But as a result, we will receive the great things that God has prepared for us. Those great things are much more important than our little troubles. And God's great things will continue for ever! 18 So we do not look at the things that we can see in this world. Instead, we look at the things that people cannot see. The things that we can see are only here for a short time. But the things that we cannot see will continue for ever.