“Trials are the opening of channels for more grace.” — Andrew Bonar
“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.” — Matthew Henry
“Grace has long arms.” — John Blanchard
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Paul had been caught up to the third heaven and experienced amazing revelations. Consequently, he received a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from becoming conceited. He specifically asked God to remove the thorn on at least three occasions. It is not wrong to cry out for deliverance. Paul did not initially assume that his “thorn” was God’s permanent will for him. To the contrary, he exercised faith and prayed. But, ultimately, God spoke to him and said, “My grace is sufficient because my power is made perfect (completed) in frailty.” Once he heard clearly from God about his suffering, he accepted it gracefully. He took pleasure in his weakness so that Christ’s power could rest upon him. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). Think about it: it is not the strong, but the “weak” who stand in need of enabling grace. Therefore, never view your weakness as a liability. View it as a reminder of your constant need, as well as an opportunity for God to pour grace into your life. Paul’s thorn was not a punishment — it served a purpose. Your “thorn” serves a purpose as well.
God does not always deliver you from your problems, but supplies you with strength to handle your problems. Grace is the empowerment to persevere. Grace is enablement to bear your burdens. Your endurance is not based on personal strength, but His grace. Your weakness is the platform for God to manifest His power.
Grace will sustain you, even if you don’t understand the reason for your predicament. Grace is His promise to us — not answers. Job went through the loss of his herds, his health, and his home and children. The book of Job is lengthy, but there is no record of any explanation from God to Job concerning his losses. We have the advantage of knowing that Satan had a part in Job’s dilemma, but this knowledge was concealed from Job. Tragedy upon tragedy — yet “in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22). He could have lashed out against the Lord, but he refrained from blaming God — amazing! Job was a godly man. He feared God and hated evil. Obviously, the grace of God rested heavily on Job. How else could he have born up under such adversities?
Maybe you find yourself in an uncomfortable or inexplicable predicament. Perhaps Heaven is silent regarding your cries for deliverance. In a time like this, remind yourself of God’s goodness in the past. Cast your burden upon the Lord. Trust your case into His care and rest on His promises.
Grace is not given until grace is needed. The grace of God is not a commodity that you store up and pull off the shelf when problems arise. Rather, grace will always be bestowed at the time when you require it. So, don’t waste your energy worrying and wondering about the future. You are in good hands. Yes, you are in very good hands! God knows what you need and when you need it. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). It is grace that has led you this far, and that same grace will lead you home.
- Have you entertained the thought that God may have you in your current weakness so that He can show forth His power?
- Are you, like Job, endeavoring not to sin or charge God foolishly in your adversity?
- Are you believing the promise that grace will always be bestowed at the time when you require it?
Taken from “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity” by Harold Vaughan. CLICK HERE for more information on the book.