I have often told people, especially younger ones, not to overly worry about problem that is bothering them when they think about the future. I tell them the future is not yet now, and I often say to them, “when you get there, either the problem will no longer be there, or God will give you strength to handle it. Either way you will be ok, and either way, it will be the grace of God.”
I remember saying the same thing to myself when I was young. Now in middle age, I realize that what I said to myself has indeed become my life experience: God’s power and grace has always been sufficient for me.
In 2 Corinthians 12:1-9, Paul talked about a “thorn in the flesh” that seemed to be torturing him. We do not know what the thorn was. Some think it was some kind of physical ailment. It could indeed be physical, but the term could also be used metaphorically. Either way, it was certainly a spiritual battle for him as he described it as a torment from a messenger of Satan.
This thorn, whatever it was, must be afflicting Paul so much that he earnestly and repeatedly pleaded to God to remove it. To his request, however, God’s reply was, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9 TNIV)
So God did not remove this special kind of difficulty that Paul had. Instead, God provided him with grace and power all through his life. And he seemed to accept the situation gladly and adjusted his life so well that he could say, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2Co 12:9 TNIV) I believe he meant he had clearly seen God’s strengthening and grace that great things could be accomplished through a weak person like himself.
So let us give thanks for our strength, and our weakness; for good days, and bad days; for times when we have plenty, and times we are in need; for being well fed, or being hungry; for living in plenty, or living in want. (cf. Phi 4:12) In all situations, it is God’s power that is working in us, and God grace that is carrying us through.
Dave Soemarko received his M.A.T.S. degree (Master of Arts in Theological Studies) from Moody Theological Seminary – Michigan. He had served as a teaching elder for nearly 15 years and has taught Bible/theology for about 30 years. David is also a computer/electrical engineer (with a M.S. degree from University of Michigan). He enjoys a wide range of hobbies including computer applications, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, music, piano, gardening, and science of cooking and baking. Dave blogs on bible interpretation and bible applications.
Dave has blogged for us in the past! Check out his previous posts here!