Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

Why God’s Grace is Sufficient

While struggling with a burden that always seems to keep me humble, I asked the Lord why He wouldn’t just remove it so I could be free from it. Or better yet, why couldn’t all of our burdens be removed so we would have more freedom to serve Him? The Lord was quick to answer, “My grace is sufficient.”

I’ve heard 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 many times before. However, this time His voice whispered a grace that lightened my burden and gave me peace. A new revelation from the words we’ve heard spoken time and time again. The meaning remained the same, He explained, but our interpretation needed to be enlightened. So, bear with me as I try to explain His words of grace.

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to keep me down. What he actually did was push me to my knees! No danger then of walking around high and mighty. At first I didn’t think of it as a gift and begged God to remove it.

Three times I asked and then he told me, “My grace is enough, it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard Him say that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving on my weakness.

Paul spoke about a “thorn in his flesh” in 2 Corinthians:12. It was a constant nagging that he wished he were rid of. Three times he asked the Lord to take it away and three times he received the same answer, “My grace is sufficient.” God’s grace was enough to allow Paul to endure this hardship he carried.

What occurred to me in these words is that His grace is enough. His grace allows us to endure anything. No one likes hard times, trials or even to be restrained, but when we are in these situations God gives us strength, His strength.

His strength doesn’t allow us to boast of our own accomplishments or acquire worldly wisdom, but drives us to our knees. And on our knees we are closer to Him. On our knees the enemy is defeated. This is grace – the tool that activates our armor, causes our sword and shield to be uplifted and our helmet of salvation to be fitted in place. The more we draw upon Him during these times, the more we see the sufficiency of His grace poured upon us.

We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort. We get a full measure of that, too. 2 Corinthians 1:5 says, “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

When we are the most conscious of our weakness, when we are driven to the point of despair, we fall down. It is at this point that Christ’s strength rests upon us. Yes, it’s hard to cry out to Him when in despair. It seems much easier to determine a solution in our own strength. It is then, when in this fire, that I find rejoicing.

This revelation came while in the fire. He poured His grace out on me and gave me joy for my weeping. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t mean the devil is going to shut up, but the Lord will give you the strength to endure. This is grace! Don’t focus on the fire, set your eyes upon Him. He is perfecting your faith in Him. He is giving you a testimony that will set another free. The weaker you get, the stronger He becomes as He strengthens you in your weaknesses. Rejoice that His grace gives you the strength to endure.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 – “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed. We are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken. Struck down, but not destroyed. Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

No one can give you God’s grace. It comes by walking through our fires in faith. Grace allows us to resist temptations. Grace and truth come from Jesus Christ and is poured out upon us when we come to the saving knowledge of Him. We have been justified freely by His grace. Grace is empowering beyond our human ability.

The Lord used an infliction to keep Paul humble so he wouldn’t boast about all the Lord had shown him. It didn’t keep Paul down, instead he rejoiced. God loves us enough to keep us from exalting ourselves. Sometimes a spiritual burden is needed to halt spiritual pride. It drives us to our knees to pray.

Prayer is the ointment to our wounds. Prayer is the salve to our unforgiving hearts. We should always give ourselves to prayer to allow Him to overcome our weaknesses. Keep praying until there is a breakthrough. So often we give up if the first prayer goes unanswered. If it weren’t for these tribulations we would not fall to our knees.

God may not give us what we desire, but He’ll always pour out the grace we need. His grace is sufficient to help us. Faith must be administered as we walk in His strength and not ours. He holds an unlimited supply of grace and strength for those who seek it. Rejoice! For your weakened state has given you the strength to stand. His grace IS sufficient for you.

In 2004, Lea Bates answered the call to begin a women's prison ministry and in 2007 helped pioneer a drug and alcohol regeneration center for women. She is an ordained minister living in Georgia. Lea's first book, “Before I Knew You," is available in paperback through Lulu.com.