There is one sure thing that we as believers can count on and that is when we get together in conversation with other believers, no matter the setting, we will always end up talking about the Lord. We talk about His goodness, His greatness, His faithfulness, His Word, and His promises. And it's inevitable that somehow, we always seem to end the conversation saying, “God will make a way” or by quoting Rom. 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Being believers of the Word of God, we find ourselves quoting His Word all the time because we love and believe Him. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians 12:9 where Paul is talking about the thorn he received and how he had prayed to the Lord to remove it but was denied three times. I like the New Living Translation because it says that, each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness”. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
It is one thing to quote and believe the Word in our hearts, but it takes you to a whole new dimension to be living in it through seasons of your life; living in it day after day in long seasons. You grasp a new understanding of the Word; and your spirit and your character take on a transformation because you are living in a new place.
I worked 11 years in the VA Hospital as an X-ray / CT technologist. I heard veteran patients telling stories of the war, only to find out later in the conversation that they had never been in a war. Not so with Paul. Paul lived through many wars throughout his life. The thorn in his flesh consisted of reproach, persecutions and distress. His infirmities had to do with his trials, his troubles, and suffering of body and soul that he talks about in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33, God assured Paul that His grace would be provided to enable him to suffer all things, each time. The fact that he still had power to do apostolic signs, wonders, and mighty deeds while in war proves that God provided power by His grace to Paul.
God’s grace is the very essence of who God is and the basis for how he acts on our behalf, but it's also the empowering force behind who we become and all we're able to do in, for and through Him. His grace will make us what we ought to be. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” God intends for His grace to be influential in our lives, for us to be touched and transformed by it. God intends for us to be guided and strengthened with His miraculous power on a continuous basis with whatever is sufficient: meaning as much as is needed, enough, or whatever is adequate for that time. And His grace is going to be perfect, exact, and precise - whenever it's needed.
I know this to be true by looking back at a season in my life four years ago. I lost my best friend, my grandmother, and my aunt. My nephew went to prison and his brother was on the run. I experienced a third diagnosis of breast cancer, the loss of both parents on the same day three years apart, and I was living with consistent pain. I lived I Corinthians 15:10, ‘I am what I am by the grace of God.”
I know the power of His sanctifying grace to keep me holy, to keep me from turning back because of disappointments and frustrations. I know His strengthening grace which gives me the ability to reign over all these challenges and headaches and heartaches. I know the power and ability of his sharing grace to meet whatever need I have and still take joy in giving to others, even when I don't want to. And I know His serving grace which enabling me to serve Him and others, even when I don't feel like it. I am reminded of a song that says, “You hold my world in your hands and I'm amazed at your grace.” Job said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear but now my eyes see you” (Job 42:5).
When you, like Paul, share the details of the war going on in your life, share how God’s grace brought you through. Paul said, “And I boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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, NIV).
His grace is sufficient.