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 and solid to hang onto and that’s 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 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. This promise, “when I am weak, then I am strong,” has been especially precious to me in India. I have faced physical, emotional and spiritual weaknesses while in India unlike anything I have ever experienced elsewhere. I’ve had this promise to hang on to. “When I am weak, then I am strong.” In fact, the weaker I was, the stronger I was. The less strength I had, the more I depended on His and always found His sufficient for whatever I needed. I became very weak, but He never did!
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 by 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 day of our lives.
There is another promise in this verse. One is that is just as important as the one we first looked at. It is that His grace is sufficient. 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 didn’t remove the demon. You would think if anyone would have their prayers answered it would be Paul, but not so. He wasn’t delivered from the demonic oppression. God doesn’t always deliver us, either.
BUT, when 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 discovered God’s grace was sufficient to enable him to handle the pain and oppression and to keep on 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 against us. But He does promise to give us grace to sustain us if He doesn’t remove it.
I counsel with many Christians who insist God deliver them right away. If it doesn’t happen, they go from church to church, or deliverance counselor to deliverance counselor. They insist God wants them delivered instead of considering God may have a reason for allowing the demonizing to remain. They become focused entirely on their problem. Eventually they may even turn from God because He doesn’t seem to be handling their situation the way they want it handled. God will always take care of our needs. However, He just doesn’t always do it the way we demand. If you have been struggling with a situation for some time, especially a demonic one, and it isn’t going away, turn to God for His sufficient grace to see you through.
God’s grace was sufficient for Paul. It was sufficient to sustain Joseph through years of prison, Daniel in Babylon, Job through his suffering and countless believers who have faced martyrdom. 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 he could have gotten proud. Paul was a very confident, self-assured person anyway. He had to be to carry out the ministry God gave him. But he also needed to remain humble and dependent on God. This “thorn in the flesh” did just that. It pointed out his weakness and drove him to God where he could experience God’s sufficient grace.
I have posted almost 40 blogs about God’s Promises to us today in my India and Spiritual Warfare blogs. If you would like a PDF document containing all of them, email me and I will send it. Jerry@Schmoyer.net
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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