“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” ( II-Corinthians 12:9).
Life has a tendency to beat even the strongest and most faith-filled of us down and we are warned; “Let not the mighty man glory in his might.” Regardless of how capable you may believe you are God will remind you that it is He who gives you the power to get whatever you may have. In the above scripture the Apostle Paul, a man of many abilities, has been afflicted with a physical infirmity and has asked God for relief. Unknown to Paul it has pleased God to permit the affliction, and it is here where many Christians get confused and attempt to rationalize why such a loving and merciful God permits such ailments to come upon His humble servants.
“There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (II-Corinthians 12:7). God tests our faith and willingness to submit to His will under emotional and spiritual trials, as well as, peculiar circumstances of physical pain and discomfort. Why? Because some of His humble servants are not so humble, they become high and mighty in their own eyes. God does not want us to glory in our personal achievements, social status or reputation in the eyes of men it is He that bless and curse. We often forget we have an adversary in Satan the Devil who wants to take away, by any means necessary, everything God has given, especially our faith and willingness to trust God.
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me” (II-Corinthians 12:8). Paul seems unwilling—as too many of us are—to simply endure he asks for immediate relief. Having asked three times God responds with a powerful rebuke: “And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II-Corinthians 12:9). Although, Paul may seem unwilling, anxious or even weak as seen from God’s perspective, in that moment, the very instant of hearing the words Paul’s perspective changed. The “is” rang in his ears, the “My” raced across his mind and the “thee” touched his spirit. The Words of God rebukes men and pricks their hearts in a way that nothing else can.
Upon receiving such a powerful rebuke Paul was inspired and filled with the Spirit. Looking up he wiped his eyes and said; “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II-Corinthians 12:9). This should be every believer suffering for righteousness’ sake personal and daily affirmation. God asks often: “How dare you ask of Me that which I have already given you? Many well-meaning Christian believers see God’s facts as hopes and prayers and not the realities of our daily living in Christ Jesus. Our perspective is not the same as God’s perspective, Paul’s realizat-ion of this fact as an absolute truth is a turning point in his physical and spiritual suffering.
“I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II-Corinthians 12:10). Paul found God’s grace to be pleasure-giving, life changing and sufficient for any and all purposes under the most peculiar of circumstances. In the simplest way he fixed it upon his heart “that the power of Christ may rest upon me” as he continued to fulfill his ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ. God did not say His “grace shall be, may be or can be” but spoke of it in the most powerful term “My grace is sufficient,” Paul believed Him, do you?
Victory over life’s challenges requires us to accept God’s rebuke in humble submission to His will; ‘Dear Lord, please let your grace be sufficient for me.’ God cannot make His grace any more sufficient than it is; it is what it is, it is up to you to believe it and receive it. God’s grace is for the moment, the day and forever, with it; “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God loves us, Jesus died for us, the Holy Spirit abides with us and His grace is sufficient for us. Be blessed until the blessed call you blessed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
Related Articles: “A Thorn In the Flesh” https://thethirdcross.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/a-thorn-in-the-flesh/