The Apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” which was never directly identified for us in scripture, but whatever it was it involved suffering and embarrassment, a humbling of his pride.
“… Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.‘ …for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
God said His grace would be sufficient for Paul, and no doubt this message was for us too when our trials are not solved right away; God’s grace will be sufficient for us in our trials, but what is happening when we are convinced that His grace really isn’t being enough for us?
In my own life I have had a whole-body pain and fatigue condition that was diagnosed over 15 years ago, and has continued to increase over time. I am currently in bed about 18 hours every day, and some weeks I am unable to leave the house. There is no treatment for symptoms, there are no answers for medicinal or naturopathic healing, and traditional prescription pain medicine doesn’t work at this time (due to my body chemistry, since birth I have always been partially immune to most anesthetics and analgesics).
There are days when the pain is almost worthy of a scream, the fatigue feels like I have a ton on my shoulders, and my world has become very, very small because I am usually unable to socialize. I miss Pastoring a local church, and I miss preaching, counseling, and visiting the sick. I believe in Divine healing through the Name of Jesus Christ, and yet… here I remain.
So what about the grace of God? What about those who are convinced that God’s grace isn’t being sufficient for them? The problem isn’t with God, it’s with our perspective.
“Let God be true, and every human being a liar…”
~ Romans 3:4
It would be easy for me to think that God’s grace has failed me if I consider only certain outcomes to be the only proof of God’s grace being sufficient for me. But, I have learned that God’s grace really is sufficient for me if I allow Him to choose what kind of grace.
For those who are suffering in trials and are convinced that God has left them out in the cold, they need to realize that God’s grace is provided to us for journeying through the trial, not just to end the trial. In my situation, if my measure of God’s grace is only compared with how far my pain goes down, I will be sorely disappointed. God’s grace doesn’t take my pain away (yet), His grace gives to me an internal fortitude and joy for continuing through life’s journey while in pain!
If you are a believer in Christ and in the scriptures, there are specific things we know about God that are certain and factual, and one of those certainties is His faithfulness to His children to bring them through any storm that might come upon them. When we look around at our situation and we doubt God’s presence and participation in our circumstances, the problem is not with God, it is with our own perspective.
God’s grace is sufficient for you in your trials, just allow Him to choose how His grace will benefit you. If His grace for you is miraculous healing, great! If His grace for you is medicinal healing, great! If His grace for you is endurance with an ability to suffer long and hard with a bright countenance of joy and peace… great!! Let God choose the form for His grace, and you choose to accept His brand of grace regardless of what that means.
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