2 Cor. 12: 9 – 10 (NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient [emphasis mine] for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness [emphasis mine].” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong [emphasis mine].”
I am so amazed by the way God reminds us that we do not walk alone through the trails of this world. Just last night I was reminded of this simple truth. As I sat and listened to someone else share in their current circumstance, I recognized familiar words. Words I know I have uttered dozens of times; in fact just as recently as last week. But last night was different. I listened to those words again and this time I heard them with a new perspective.
- “don’t show emotion, it’s a sign of weakness”
- “you have to be strong and fight for what you want out of this life no matter what”
- “you are a strong person, don’t let this little blip get you down just pick yourself up and get going!”
While these phrases were probably intended to be “motivational” in nature, they allowed me to build a wall and wear a mask that God never indented for me to wear in the first place.
If we take a glimpse at the Apostle Paul’s life we see that he was given a “thorn in his flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7) to remind him that God was all he needed. Even though Paul begged God to take away this thorn, God chose instead to demonstrate His power through it. Paul didn’t have to be strong and pretend this “thorn” wasn’t there. He simply recognized that God’s power was all the strength he needed to do what God called him to do. Paul heard God say “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I want to share the definition of the word “sufficient” before I go any further. According to Webster’s Dictionary:
SUFFI’CIENT, adjective [Latin sufficiens.] Enough; equal to the end proposed; adequate to wants; competent; as provision sufficient for the family; water sufficient for the voyage; an army sufficient to defend the country
Okay, go back to that verse for just a minute. God’s grace is not just sufficient for Paul; it’s just as sufficient for all of us. Let’s go back and read the verse again. This time, after reading the word “you”, make the verse personal by saying your name. “My grace is sufficient for you, _________, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Now, when I hear myself say “I have to suck it up and be strong through this situation.” I combat the thought with “I don’t have to be strong because God’s grace is sufficient for me and I know HIS power is made perfect in my weakness!” How comforting this that?
I hope the following verses encourage you to find strength in God’s power.
Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
Philippians 4:13 “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. “
Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.”
Romans 8:25-27 “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.