December 22, 2008
GRACE THAT WON’T LET GO
by Charles R. Swindoll
This is a good time to correct faulty thinking. It is not always God's will that you be healed. It is not always the Father's plan to relieve the pressure. Our happiness is not God's chief aim. He doesn't have a wonderful (meaning "comfortable") plan for everybody's life---not from a human perspective. Often His plan is nowhere near wonderful. As with Paul, His answer is not what we prayed and hoped for. But, remembering that He is forming us more and more into the image of His Son, it helps us to understand His answer is based on His long-range plan, not our immediate relief.
Thankfully, in the midst of that suffering, He gently whispers, "My grace is sufficient for you" (v. 9). As with Paul, His grace supplies more than we need to endure whatever it is that threatens to undo us. Let me amplify that thought. His grace is more sufficient than your strength. His grace is more sufficient than the advice of any trained counselor or close friend (though God uses both). His grace is sufficient to carry you through whatever your own unique "thorn" may be. His grace---that's the ticket.
Would you like to know why? Because God's power is perfected in weakness (v. 9). What an amazing statement from the Lord! And all this time we thought power was perfected in success. We've been taught all our lives that it is achievement that makes us strong. No. A thousand times, no! Those things make us proud and self-sufficient and independent. Painful thorns make us weak. But the good news is this: when we are weak, He pours His strength into us, which gives an entirely new perspective on pain and suffering, hardship and pressure. Those stresses and strains drive us to our knees. It's at that point our God comes through, takes us by the hand, and by His grace lifts us up.
His grace is sufficient for you too.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.