Tag Archives: Grace

God’s Grace Is Enough

In my study of 2 Corinthians, I was reading the first part of chapter 12 yesterday.  As I was reading and pondering this message, I realized that God’s timing in this was so awesome in this message and it is so relevant to everyday life.  I recall writing about this chapter some time ago regarding Paul’s discussion of being given a thorn in the flesh, and while he asked for it to be removed, he is reminded that it is there to keep him from becoming proud and exalting himself and Jesus reminds him that “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.

This teaching is such a humbling reminder about life.  That thorn in the flesh can be anything in life that can come up and take the wind out of your sails.  I’ll use a sports comparison.  I’ve seen players that have had things going so easy and then become very comfortable.  They figure they have secured their place and all of a sudden they lose their place, whether it’s a starting role or something.  When something like this happens, how the player responds can make a world of difference.

You see, when we have these moments where all of sudden it seems like things that we’ve worked for are taken from us, you may be surprised to learn that through that, God is at work.  You see, His grace is all you need.  I have learned to recognize that He is using moments like this, like a athlete losing his starting role, as a way to humble him and remind him to lean to God through all the difficulties.  It is also a reminder that in this life, no matter what, be it sports, the business world, or anything, we have to work for everything.  Things are not just handed to us and we have earn our way.

The same holds true for our faith.  We are not guaranteed Heaven.  We are not guaranteed to be able to inherit the Kingdom that is made available.  It comes with work.  It comes with surrendering your life to Christ and then working day after day to be restored each day and sanctified daily.  There are some who believe that once you have professed your faith that’s it, you’re good to go.  I used to feel that way to some degree.  How wrong I was.

God’s grace is enough for all of us.  These challenges and trials we face, these thorns in the flesh are a constant reminder, if we are listening, to turn to Christ and call for His grace to fill us every day.  He is in control.

There is a saying that get’s passed around that I have heard time and again that says something like “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  There is so much wrong with this statement.  You see, along with the thorn in the flesh, Paul also adds that he is give a messenger from Satan to torment him.  The simple fact is that without the grace of God, we can’t handle these difficulties ourselves.  We can’t inherit the Kingdom without God’s grace.  We can’t make it through challenges in life and truly put on our new selves without God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.  All of this comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

I’ve had many times in my life that have taught me this lesson.  I even had a challenge this week that came about that caused me to filled a lot of doubt and questions regarding that situation.  Reading these verses and then sitting in prayer contemplating them really opened up my eyes and reminded me that no matter what, I need to turn to God’s grace and realize that it is all I need.  His timing was perfect in this and I am ever grateful for what He opens my heart to see and hear.

Trust Him Through The Distractions

You ever feel like life is overtaking you?  Like there is just so much going on that you can’t tell if you’re coming or going.  If you say no, then I don’t think you’re honest with yourself.  I think at one time or another we have so many things piled on that it gets difficult to stay afloat.  I certainly had one of those weeks this week as I began a new semester of school on top of increasing work demands.  I found myself at a point where I was just spent.  I stared at my computer screen last night to finish some work that was due for one of my classes and the mind was racing.  When you get to that point, it definitely gets difficult to focus and get anything accomplished effectively.  I was sitting in prayer this morning and called out to Jesus. I needed to reset myself.  To get my life…my body, soul, and spirit realigned.  I left the gym and came home and stopped again.

I share this because it helped me to remember that through all of life’s demands we need to trust in the Lord, knowing that Jesus is enough. I’m reminded of something I heard recently, which is that life is filled with a thousand distractions.  Things that will try to pull you away from the heart of God and His call on your life.  It can be so easy to let all of that just consume you and take you out.  If you let it, the world will devour you and spit you back out into a heap of nothing with no sense of direction or purpose.

Bruce Larson stated that “On days when life is difficult and I feel overwhelmed, as I do fairly often, it helps to remember in my prayers that all God requires of me is to trust Him and be His friend. I find I can do that.”  When we find that all just need to trust in God and follow His lead, there is a greater sense of peace to be found in that.  Does that mean we will be able to get rid of all of these troubles?  Absolutely not.  While we live in this fallen world, we will continue to have these kinds of things happen.

GraceIsSufficientPaul writes in 2 Corinthians 12 that to keep from exalting himself he “was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud” (Vs7).  In verse 9 he reminds that Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  He goes on to say that “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”  

This is important to remember.  The grace we are given because of Jesus Christ is sufficient.  We need to learn to let go of those moments of weakness.  Those times when we just feel completely overwhelmed and unsure of our direction.  Come back to the Lord and remember that Jesus + Nothing = Completion.  He is enough.  Troubles will come.  It’s a part of this world.

Even Paul recognized he had to deal with this thorn of the flesh, whatever that was for him, particularly.  Troubles come and troubles go.  We won’t be without troubles in our life until we enter the Kingdom.  With that as the case, it is important to remember that Jesus is enough.  Trust Him through all of our troubles and pains. Whether small or big, trust Him.  His grace is more than enough.

the-sacred-romance

I am reminded this morning from The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis that we live in a larger story that is far beyond ours where God is the central character.  He is the hero of the story that we live in and we belong to Him.  Eldredge also wrote in Waking The Dead that, “When we are in the presence of God, removed from distractions, we are able hear Him more clearly, and a secure environment has been established for the young and broken placed in our heart to surface.”  Walk in His presence and trust Him through it all.  Trust in Him through the troubles and through all of the distractions.  He is enough.  Trust in God’s heart and His endless pursuit of ours.  That’s eternal.  That’s where life is found.

Trust in Him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. – Psalm 62:8