II Corinthians 9-13: His Grace Is Enough

And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;

but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


II Corinthians 12:7-10, RSV


Even the Apostle Paul had things that he wished he did not have to go through.


I think one of the hardest things for us to understand is why good people have to experience hardships. I was visiting with a man the other day whose grandson had been born with a crippling birth defect. His parents have spent thousands of dollars and traveled many miles to try and help their child. And while the child is getting a bit better, at the age of five he still cannot walk. He faces a life tat will be hard, indeed, a life that has been very hard already. Why would God permit such a thing?


The answer of course is that we cannot know. What we can know is that God loves this child and that He wants him to be with Him whole, someday, in Heaven. But until then the life of the child and the parents and grandparents will be filled with challenges that will sometimes seem unbearable.


But, the fact remains, God's grace is sufficient.


And that will make all the difference, if we will let it, and that makes the seemingly unbearable, bearable.


One of the reasons that we read the Word is that it helps us to understand a little better the tests that we are going through here on earth. This understanding will not make the difficulties of life easy, but it will make it bearable. And then, for the faithful, there will be Heaven.


Then we will see plainly that His grace has always been enough.


The readings for the next few days are from II Corinthians 9-13. They tell us how to rely on God that we might serve Him best.