Paul relays a message he received from God in this passage. When Paul asked God to take away ‘a thorn in his flesh,’ God lovingly denied his request. Why? Because it made Paul weak. Why would God want this for one of his faithful servants? Because it made him powerful.
How can someone be weak and powerful at the same time? Our passage contains the answer and grace is the key. In fact, grace is all that is needed – grace alone is sufficient. Let’s see how grace makes the weakness/power formula work. As you read on, watch for the key elements below. You’ll see them along the way.
It all starts with grace. If you look at a bible dictionary, you’ll see grace defined as unmerited benevolence or favor. God offers each of us His gift of grace, His unmerited benevolence and favor in spite of our sins. He can do this because of what Christ did by dying on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. At the point where God’s offer of grace meets our willful acceptance of it, God gives us a new heart in which His Holy Spirit dwells. We then have access to the very power and nature of God and we don’t even have to go looking for it, it resides in us.
This sets up a conflict. A conflict between the world, unavoidably mired in sin, and God. In the world, power is determined by how much control you have. If you have more control over other people than they have over you, you have power. If you control more money than others, you have power. Conversely, if you have given control, voluntarily or involuntarily, to others you are weak. If you control less money than others, you are weak, and so on.
In God’s system, the more you attempt to control things yourself the more you close off access to the Spirit’s power. On the other hand, the more you relinquish control to God’s Holy Spirit, to guide you, to inspire you, to act through you, the more power you have. And not just any power. The power that created the entire universe, that healed the sick through Jesus’ touch, that raised Jesus from the dead, that’s the power we’re talking about here! So, the weaker you become in the world’s eyes, the more power you actually attain.
Now yielding control is something most of us would say is very hard for us. But we fool ourselves! We yield control all the time without even realizing it. When we need to get to the 14th floor of our office building, instead of maintaining control ourselves and trudging up the stairs, we turn over control to an elevator. Instead of walking across the country to visit loved ones living far away, we turn over control to a pilot and a jet aircraft. We are actually quite good at giving up control when it is to our benefit to do so. And what could benefit us more than the very power of God?!
So, is God’s grace sufficient? Yes! Abundantly so! That’s the truth.
When you accept My gift of grace, you will gain access to My power. You will be able to give up control to the My Spirit, for I will dwell in you. As you do this, My power will be perfected in you. You will appear weak to the world, but you will have more power than anything in the world. My grace is all you need to make this happen!
That’s the YouTruth. God’s Grace Is Sufficient For You.