“Concerning this (a messenger of Satan given to torment me) I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me… for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Co.12:7-10
I was praying today, mentioning all the persons and circumstances I routinely bring before the Lord along with some special requests. One word in particular seems to accompany every request. Grace. Lord, by Your grace…; through Your grace… Not unusual since we all come before the throne of grace to find grace in our time of need (Hb.4:16). It is undoubtedly grace that is the reason and result for every answer to prayer. Grace is God’s response to everything we can ask for or imagine.
The apostle Paul had an huge responsibility in ministry which came with enormous challenges. He was continually tormented by a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him at nearly every place he went. Being human like us, he became frustrated, annoyed, perplexed, probably angry by the consistent battle with adversity. Three times he sent up a prayer maybe more from exasperation than faith. God answer was likely not what Paul expected to hear: “My grace is sufficient.”
This makes me think of the times in my life when I don’t have the answer; I don’t know what to do; I’ve reached rock bottom – my breaking point; I’ve thought, things can’t get any worse; I can’t see a way out. All of these thoughts describe weakness: the want of strength and capacity. Another definition of weakness is an inability to produce results. Grace is the perfect counterpoint to weakness. It is God’s ability to do what we cannot do for ourselves. It is no wonder Paul would “boast” in his weakness. He understood the secret of finding and receiving grace in his life. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jm.4:6).
Someone once defined grace in an acrostic: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I like to envision a reservoir that provides an unlimited water supply, at any time, for any purpose, by simply turning on the faucet. We may never see the reservoir ourselves but it is there to serve us. Like retrieving water through a faucet, we access grace through Jesus Christ. God’s grace resembles a reservoir of blessing for every occasion. “His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”
Here are four facts to remember about God’s Grace:
Grace is for all “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ep.4:7) His grace is available to all who believe. No one is passed over.
Grace is multifaceted “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pt. 4:10) His grace has many aspects and a myriad of utility.
Grace is sufficient “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’” (2 Co.12:9) His grace is enough, more than enough, for every occasion.
Grace may be increased “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pt.5:5) True humility (dependence) is a place of great strength because it creates capacity for more of His grace.
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tm.2:1