Paul is trying to direct the Corinthian Christians to focus on the spiritual glory of the New Covenant rather than the physical glory of the Old, as many Christians today refuse to focus. He compared the two types of glory by recalling how Moses absorbed and reflected God’s glory for a time after being in His presence (2 Cor. 3). Though Moses’ glow had a spiritual cause, there was nothing spiritual about the effect—anyone, regardless of their relationship with God, could see the glow on Moses’ face, which he covered with a veil.
Not so the glory of the New Covenant. That glory can be seen only with a believer’s spiritual eyes – eyes that Paul is doing his best to open, so that people can ‘see’ the glory of the gospel. So Paul writes, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Paul told the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1) about a hard situation he had experienced in Asia. He was burdened beyond measure, and without strength, so much that he despaired of life itself. This situation was beyond anything Paul could handle, and he thought it would kill him. But, as he looked back at the experience, Paul realized God’s purpose in the suffering was that he would give it to Jesus and learn to trust in Him instead. Sometimes God will put us in situations that we cannot handle, just to remind us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in ourselves.
Paul shared his plans with the church at Corinth, but then added “If the Lord permits” (1 Cor.16). Jesus taught us at Gethsemane & many other places, that we should always pray for the Lord’s Will to be done in our lives & not out own will (Lk.22:42/Jn.4:34 /Jas 4:15). We should always make that a prerequisite of any plans we make since we are now Christians, and Jesus is Lord and Master of our lives. As the Bride of Christ we need to stay flexible, and make our plans always subject to change. We don’t want to make our plans so rigid that God has to break us in order to change our direction. He will do that if it is necessary, but it is always better to stay flexible. I always say, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” Pastor Chuck Smith
Our Father gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit to each Christian as He wills, and as we need them. We don’t decide for ourselves what we will receive; that decision comes from the Father to His children (1 Cor.12). Christ gives each of us different gifts, and He works in us and through us in different ways. We make a big mistake if we try to make God go with our plan or system. Jesus doesn’t operate in our lives by a formula or a program. I will probably experience the gifts of the Spirit and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in a different way than you will. Don’t try to duplicate someone else’s experience in your life. There is One Holy Spirit but differing gifts, ministries, activities and manifestations of God the Spirit. Our Father does what He wants, when He wants. It is a great blessing when He uses us, and gives us the gifts that are needed. (Isaiah 53:5)