My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.                                                                                                                                                                                         -2 Cor 12:9


There may be times in our life when we face major storms and we cannot work out how to get out of it. We feel helpless and weak and are tempted to simply give up and accept defeat. But we need to remember that the Word says God’s strength – God’s miracle working power is about to be made perfect in us. When our human strength ends, God has promised that his miraculous power will bring us through.

In Acts 14, Paul was stoned and left for dead, but the disciples gathered around him and prayed and the Lord raised him up and we went on his way.

In Psalm 106:40-48 they called out to God in their desperation. God heard their cry and delivered them. God’s grace comes from his great love for us.

Though the Israelites disbelieved in him, disobeyed his commands, grumbled and worshipped idols, sinned, yet God showed favour. God got them out in the nick of time. God is never late, never early. He is always on time.

There is no better picture of God’s grace in action than in the story of the prodigal son. We cannot make up to God for something we have done wrong, working to win his approval. The Father offered him grace (unmerited favour) that was based on the father’s love rather than the son’s performance.

God has not based his relationship with you and me on our worthiness. He has based it on his love and on Jesus worthiness. So we don’t have to struggle to prove ourselves to Him.

God shows us great love. We are like a vine. God tends it, waters and watches over it and cares for it (Isa.27:3, 4)   God in his love judges. He pulls out the thistles and thorn bushes and burns them up. There is much about God’s judgment. Yet this is described as” his strange work”. (Isa 28:21.)

Isaiah foresees the one who will be the cornerstone of Grace (Isa 28:16). ‘Jesus’ is the cornerstone. He is the solid granite foundation. We, who trust in Jesus, will not fall. “A trusting life will not topple”

Paul says in Rom 9:33 that Jesus is the one on whom the church of living stones is built. He is the one chosen by God but rejected by humans. Whoever turns to Jesus will never be put to shame (1Peter 2:4-6).” Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus is the source of all grace (John 1:14) He died so that we can be forgiven and experience his great love, grace and power as he, by the Holy Spirit lives in us. After we are born again, the next thing is to seek for knowledge (1 Tim 2:3, 4). Knowledge of God’s word brings success.

The Lord told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him when Paul prayed three times to God to remove the thorn in the flesh. If it had been sickness or poverty then he could have received deliverance. Paul’s thorn was persecution which came from satan, because of the abundance of revelation he had received from God. Paul’s revelation produced about one half of the New Testament scriptures. Paul was respected and honoured in the sight of people, so satan had to do something to make him and the Gospel less attractive. The messenger of satan was assigned to repeatedly persecute him (2 Cor. 12:7), so that the people would think twice about accepting the Gospel because of the persecution which accompanied it. Paul suffered persecution everywhere he went (Acts 20:23) reproaches, persecutions and distresses for the sake of Christ.

The reason God did not take Paul’s thorn away was not because He wanted to afflict Paul, it was because we are not redeemed from persecution. (Suffering persecution and hardships related with preaching the Gospel.)  2 Tim 3:12 says “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”. If the Lord stopped all persecution against His followers, Saul would have died before he became the apostle Paul. Paul was one of the leaders of the persecution against Christians (Acts 9:1). The Lord did not redeem Stephen from persecution, but used it to glorify Himself and prick the heart of the future apostle Paul. God loves even those who persecute us just as He loved those who persecuted Him- (Jesus) (Luke 23:23-24). He desires their conversion, not their judgment.

The Lord told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him for God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. God would use these persecutions to display His strength in Paul. God’s grace would strengthen Paul to continue in victory regardless of the circumstances of life. Once Paul saw this, he actually took pleasure in the persecutions he suffered    (2 Cor 12:10) knowing that God would get the ultimate glory. The Lord was telling Paul that when he gives up, then the Lord takes over. Anytime we cease trusting in ourselves and trust in God, the Lord shows His strength. It is when we lean on our own abilities that we get in trouble.

Paul counted all his accomplishments as dung (Phil 3:7-8). He became totally dependent upon Christ living through him (Gal 2:20). He had learned to be weak in himself so that Christ could be strong in him (Phil 4:11-13). The Christian life he concluded was lived through the strengthening power of Jesus Christ.

The Lord’s power delivers us from things such as sin, sickness, poverty, that is not to say that Christians never sin, never get sick or never have financial problems, but knowledge of God’s Word multiplies grace.

As we believe the promises in God’s Word and in faith say and claim them, God’s power becomes available to bring us victory over all things. However, concerning persecution and the many day to day problems that we encounter, the Lord has not provided deliverance from these, but rather the strength to endure. We have to have the motivation to change the things that we can change in our lives, the strength of Christ to persevere through the things we cannot change and wisdom to know the difference.

There is a big difference between suffering for Christ’s sake and just suffering(1 Peter 4:15-16). “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busy body in other man’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf”. (suffering persecution and hardships related with preaching the Gospel).

So if you are facing a crisis today, if you are sick, if your finances are out of control, if you are bound in bad habits, if your family is falling apart, if you have done all you know to do- that is believe the Word of God and fight the good fight of faith and you still have not got results then rejoice, for when human strength ends the power of God excels. Only believe God’s grace is sufficient for you.

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