Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sufficient Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9
"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."

We all go through difficult times. In fact, the Bible makes no bones about the fact that we will suffer. But the amazing thing? God not only uses that suffering to perfect us, but also gives us His grace and power - sufficient for each moment - to live, and to live for Him.

I have a lot going on right now. We all know the place, whatever it may look like for you. Excluding my hobbies and other goals, I'm struggling with an unknown chronic pain, am a homeschooling mom of two children (five and two) who works two days a week, and am in escrow on my old home while renovating my new one. (It sounds to me like so much less all summed up!) Yet in the midst of those moments of pain in the night, moments of frustration learning to teach, moments of indecision and realizing what won't be done in time, moments of exhaustion through it all, God is with me.

I may not know the specific reason for any given trial, but I can rest in Romans 8:28-29, James 1:2-4, and 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Romans 8:28-29
"And we know that God causes all things to work for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren..."

James 1:2-4
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

2 Corinthians 12:9
"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."

God is working all things for my good and His glory, perfecting me among my trials to be more like Him, and He is right there with me among them - in my weakness. Whether my weakness is the physical pain, the emotional frustration, the mental anxiety, or exhaustion as a whole, God will rise to the "challenge" when I rely on Him. When I shift my focus to realize I can't do it - and don't want to do without Him even if I could - I see the whole world differently. It isn't about what I can or can't do, it's about what God is doing.

God doesn't send the evil in this world, but He isn't powerless about it, either. My physical pain is a result of sin, but God is using it to teach me how to be weak. I don't do that very well. It seems to be my personal 2 Corinthians 12:7 "thorn in the flesh... to keep me from exalting myself." Rather, as I boast about what God is doing in my weakness, then He gets the glory, and I learn to be more like Christ.

Is it easy? No. Does remembering the above make it easier to deal with? Yes. Our suffering is not in vain, friend! Remind yourself of God's promises and granted power - be thankful for them. Rely on Him in humble prayer and He will keep you. Live in His keeping and rejoice!