God said in 2Corinthians 12:9(NLT), “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” He spoke these words to the Apostle Paul at a time when Paul was dealing with a troubling situation. He sought the Lord three times to remove this vexing problem, and 2Corinthians 12:9 is the spiritual strategy for success that God gave Paul. If we take some time to ponder this, we would see very clearly that Paul had a strategy in mind before he sought the Lord. He surmised in his thinking that removing the troubling thing from his life entirely was the way to go. And after he came up with this fix, he presented it to the Lord in prayer and hoped the Lord would cooperate. We can relate to this right? It’s often the approach many of us take about the issues we face. Well, as it turns out, the Lord had something better in mind, and as our problems persists, the strategy God gave Paul is the one we must put in place as well.
The two-pronged spiritual strategy
The spiritual strategy God gave Paul is two-pronged, and both prongs are instrumental to operating by faith. The first is that of God’s grace. To get a better understanding of God’s grace, we must look at the people God marked out as His own in Old Testament times. The Children of Israel were God’s chosen people. He didn’t choose them because they were so special, but because He is so special. His love is extraordinary, and through His relationship with the children of Israel, God demonstrates for us His unconditional love and grace.
God’s grace is all we need
The children of Israel broke their commitment to honor their covenant with God. Many of them disobeyed Heavenly Father and rejected His guidance and leadership. When Elijah the prophet began to complain about how far off the mark the Children of Israel had gone, Heavenly Father rebuked him. Elijah thought he was the only Israelite still honoring God, and this was not the case. God told Elijah there were 7,000 that hadn’t rejected Him and had not bowed to worship the idol god, baal. In the New Testament, in the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul pointed to this Old Testament record. It shows us that we don’t always know the whole story and should stop speculating about things only God knows.
In Romans 11:5-6(NLT), Paul said, “5 It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them. 6 And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” Romans 11:5-6 gives us a beautiful illustration and definition of God’s grace. It is His divine favor that is bestowed upon us although we didn’t deserve it and could never do anything to earn it. He bestows His grace on us because He loves us. God chose the Children of Israel to serve Him, just as He chose us to be His sons and daughters. It is always God who does the choosing. Everything is driven by His Will.
Hebrews 4:16(NLT) tells us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Heavenly Father tells us to approach His throne of grace, not with our own plan, but with confidence that He knows what to do and how to do it—that He will not leave us defenseless but help us in our time of need. It’s HIS ability we must trust, not our own. He told Paul to shift his attention off the troubling situation and on to His grace, because His grace is all we need. It is one thing to hear the words, but another entirely to believe and trust them. Paul had to actually walk those words out in his life, and so do we.
His Power works mightily in an atmosphere of humility
A vehicle will not move if we have our foot on the brakes. The second prong is to remember that God’s power is unleashed through our humility, and humility requires us to take our foot off the brakes by recognizing we don’t have the answers. The Apostle Paul was able to boast in his weakness because this is when God was glorified through him. Let go and let God is a lifetime mantra. God knew what was necessary in order that Paul learned more fully to lean on Him. Paul had more to learn about the discipline of shifting to God’s grace and keeping it in high gear permanently.
When we don’t trust God through our tough times, we run the risk of separating ourselves from Him when we should be drawing closer. This is especially true when we’re experiencing loneliness, impatience, emotional stress, and financial worries. The Lord God is mighty in battle! We must trust that He will fight for us, and that His grace is all we need. With Him on our sides, we cannot fail. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Be Strong in God’s Grace” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!