The vast majority of people when they think of grace are reminded of the beautiful old hymn, Amazing Grace. Grace is the power of God released unto all who put their faith in Christ as the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). Jesus died and became the propitiation for all the sins of the world, but grace is given to those who live by faith their sins have been washed away. Grace is the power of God at work within us relieving us from the burden of washing our own sins away, which could never be done. It is the kindness of God freely giving unmerited favor. And this favor is broad. The Bible says we are saved by grace, but grace continues to work in us long after we give ourselves to Him. The power of grace is broad. It is His favor. And that brings us to our Verse of the Day:
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (NIV)
The apostle is giving us a glimpse into a segment of grace that is perfect for the days we live in right now. People are sick. People have lost loved ones. People are nervous and afraid. People are losing jobs. The economy has hit a standstill. And all this on top of our everyday troubles. But His grace is all-sufficient.
We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8), but grace is a pervading power in our Christian experience. In the sense Paul speaks, grace refers to the all-sufficient power of God. In other words, God is able to heal the sickness, overwhelm the trouble, destroy the enemy, replace the funds, but He is also able to sustain the spirit of man in the midst of trouble. The word for ‘grace’ comes from an original form that means ‘calmly happy.’ Grace is that power that keeps us calm, quiet, , peaceful and even happy while we endure suffering.
Grace fills our mind with the knowledge that suffering does not equate to the absence of God. As we hurt, He remains. As we bleed, He stays. When all have abandoned us, He sticks closer than a brother. And as long as He persists with me, confidence abounds that He can heal, fix, change, move, alter, uproot, and destroy anything that comes against me and in the meantime, He will give me His peace.
I fully believe God is able to protect us all from this virus and every other thing that comes against us. But God’s ultimate goal is not a lack of suffering for His children but salvation for the whole world. If we never struggled, the world would say it is easy to believe because our life is so easy. It would not drive people to God. It would make them feel undeserving of His grace. But for His children to have peace in our pain, calm in our concerns, and tranquility in trials, reveals a God who can help those in trouble. Our world is in trouble and we are the testimony of the All-Sufficient God.
He brings friends and strangers, songs and signs, furry animals and smooth jazz, a hug, a book, bluejays and Blue Bell, streams in the wasteland and blossoms in the desert. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
Leave me a comment. How has God sent you help in times of trouble? Has the Lord ever sent you to as an instrument of His grace to help another in their time of trouble?