GOD PROMISES SUFFICIENT GRACE
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God’s promises only seem to be important when we really need them. When things are going fine, we don’t think of them, but when we are ‘in over our heads’ and need a lifeline, we reach out for something true – something solid to hang on to. And that’s precisely when God’s promises mean the most! That’s certainly true of me. I have been going to India for many years. Ministering to pastors there is a great blessing and a wonderful privilege! It’s an amazing opportunity and I thank God for it! I also thank Him for His presence and promises, for without them I wouldn’t be able to minister there. indent? This promise, “when I am weak, then I am strong,” has been especially precious to me while in India. While there, I have faced, (unlike anything I have ever experienced elsewhere), physical, emotional and spiritual weaknesses. These weaknesses have been so profound that they have threatened, on several occasions, my role in this very important ministry! Having this promise to hang on to as a mindset, “when I am weak, then I am strong,” has in fact, been half of the resulting victory that I have been able to enjoy in facing these challenges! The less strength of my own that I had to carry on, the more I had to depend upon God’s. I always found His strength sufficient for whatever I needed. There were times when I became very weak, but He never did! The weaker I was, the more I had to depend on God to give me the wisdom and strength I needed. I recognize I was helpless on my own but knew that He would provide what I need when I need it. He worked in me and in the circumstances around me to protect, strengthen and deliver me. He will do the same for you.
You see, we are always weak; it’s just that we don’t always realize it. For some foolish reason we think we have strength and resources comparable to what we face in life. That’s why God lets us sometimes see our weakness, so we can better give credit where it is due – to His strength getting us through life. What could you face without Him? Where would you be if His Spirit and presence left you entirely on your own? What if you had to live life just on your own resources? What would your life look like now? What kind of shape would you be in? This promise isn’t just for when things get really really bad. It’s for every single day of our lives!
There is another promise in this verse. This one is just as important as the one we first looked at. It is that His grace is sufficient. Apostle Paul was writing from personal experience. He had a thorn in his flesh- something he describes as an angel?/messenger of Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). It was a demon. The demon was causing him tremendous pain and great difficulty in his ministry, so he prayed 3 times to have the demon removed. But God, in His sovereignty, didn’t remove the demon. If anyone would have their prayers answered, you would think it would be Paul, but not so! He wasn’t delivered from the demonic oppression. God does not always deliver us, either.
Whenever God doesn’t deliver us from demonic oppression, He always helps us to endure what comes against us. That’s what He did with Paul. Paul realized that God’s grace was sufficient to enable him not only to handle the pain and oppression, but also to keep on persevering with life and ministry anyway?. God doesn’t always remove what we face, even when it is demonic. That’s an important lesson to remember in spiritual warfare. God never promised to always remove every demonic work in that is against us. But He does, however, promise to give us grace to sustain us if He doesn’t remove it.
I counsel with many demonized Christians who insist that God deliver them right away. If it doesn’t happen immediately, they go from church to church, or from deliverance counselor to deliverance counselor. They insist that God wants them delivered, instead of considering that God may have a reason for allowing the demonizing to remain. Many become focused entirely on their problem. Eventually some may even turn from God because He doesn’t seem to be handling their situation the way they expect it to be handled. God will always take care of our needs. However, He just doesn’t always do it the way in which we demand. If you have been struggling with a situation for some time, especially a demonic one, and it isn’t going away, press in to God even more; for His sufficient grace will see you through. God is ever Faithful.
God’s grace was sufficient for Paul. It was also sufficient to sustain Joseph through years of prison. The grace of God carried Daniel throughout the time he spent in Babylon; it strengthened Job through his extreme suffering. God’s unmerited love and favor enabled countless believers to have faced martyrdom. I assure you; it’ll be sufficient for you as well.
Why would God ever allow a demon to have access to Paul of all people? God allowed it to keep Paul humble. With his great talent and gifts and his very successful ministry, Paul could have gotten proud. From what I’ve deduced, Paul was a very confident, self-assured person anyway. He had to be in order to carry out the ministry God gave him. But he also needed to remain humble and dependent upon God. This “thorn in the flesh” did just that. It pointed out his weakness, and drove him even closer to cling to God where he could experience God’s sufficient grace.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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