“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
In verse 7, Paul says “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”
Thorn in the flesh – humbled by trouble or temptation.
Messenger of Satan – sent for evil; but God designed it, and overruled it for good.
Three Times – when we are afflicted with fleshly thorns (troubles/temptations), we should give ourselves to prayer (repeated prayer)
Grace – (Old Testament) Chesed (Greek) Steadfastness; Leal-love (loyal/honest); the attitude which both parties to a covenant ought to maintain towards each other; deliverance from enemies; affliction, or adversity. It also denotes enablement, daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. (New Testament) Charis (Greek) The provision of salvation. Grace may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation.
Examples of God’s Grace – In the New Testament grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means God sending His only Son to descend into hell on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven.
Power Made Perfect in Weakness – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
I have been saved and delivered by God’s grace. God’s grace, the gift of Jesus Christ, is sufficient. Jesus’ sacrifice washed away my sins; lifting the burden of guilt and condemnation. God’s grace, and His ability to love without judgment or hesitation, is a true gift. One He has given each of us, if only we open our hearts and hands to the gift being presented. God’s grace should be reflective in my day-to-day actions. If God’s grace is sufficient for me, a broken-down sinner, then I in-turn should practice grace in my own life. Forgiving the “sins” of the past, present, and future, as well as embracing the grace God has afforded me.
If I can fully embrace grace, consuming every ounce of what is good and right, I can then share this grace with others. Overlooking the flaws and imperfections of people and the world, while looking instead at person’s heart. Remember Aubrey, everyone has a story – you never know why they are acting the way they do, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to know a person’s story (or visa versa) to have grace – grace should be an automatic response. Grace is not contingent on extenuating circumstances. No, grace is a direct result of God’s love for you – share that love with the world…. Without question or response. Without judgment or condemnation.
“Lord, I humble myself before you now and always, surrendering my every need and concern. I praise you for the grace and understanding afforded me daily. I pray for the focus and consistency to approach each day, and each person with the same grace and understanding. Throwing aside all forms of perception, presumption, judgment, and condemnation. Lord, please guide me through the darkness of my mind. Help me discern right from wrong, and good from evil. Help me release any feelings of pain and chaos caused by the hurts of others. Lord, lead me in my strength and compassion; show me when and where I can adjust my perception and ideals, to reflect those of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to walk in love, compassion, joy, and grace. Guide me Lord. I praise you in all you do, and all that you will do. I praise you for every prayer, answered or otherwise, because I have faith that your grace and timing are sufficient for me. Thank you Lord.
In Jesus name, Amen!
Photo by Greg Weaver