January 21, 2022

What the Lord Says Regarding the Sufficiency of His Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, HCSB)

The apostle Paul shares with believers the answer he received from the Lord after praying several times for God to remove what he called a “thorn in the flesh.” He did not go into detail about what that thorn was. It could have been anything: a chronic illness or some physical condition he had to contend with while carry out ministry and traveling from place to place. Whatever it was it kept him humble and relying on God. Paul didn’t go into detail because he wanted the emphasis to be on God’s promise of sufficient grace instead of his condition.

We might identify with what Paul shares in his letter. We might know firsthand what it feels like to be denied healing or not being relieved of something that causes us to suffer or be in distress. We might know what it means to be sustained by the sufficient grace of God, daily, hourly, and what it’s like when God does not remove something we suffer or struggle with, when God does not answer our prayer in the way we hoped he would.

The Lord’s denial is not punishment. He does not judge us for asking and hoping for relief, but it is always God’s right to decide what he will remove, take away and what he will help us to bear, and his grace will be sufficient to do so. His promise of grace is a promise to help us through, a promise to give us strength to accomplish what we need to accomplish, a promise to hold us up despite what we suffer with. God’s promise of sufficient grace to Paul—and us—is evidence of his care, love, forgiveness, compassion, and the continuation of his power for our life. God makes sufficiency of grace a state of blessedness. Let’s Pray,

Thank you, Lord for the promised grace that carries us through all suffering. May we grow to trust you more and more when our “thorns” are not taken away, instead the promise of sufficient grace is given. Amen    

Reflective Questions for Self and Soul-Tending:

Do you have a “thorn” you have been praying and waiting for God to remove? How have you processed God’s delay or “no” about its removal?

How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?

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