'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
In our small group, we have been working our way through Paul's letter to the Galatians. Paul is building his case that we cannot add anything onto Christ. A friend of mine commented that I have been on a "grace kick" over the last couple of years. Indeed. I hope that it is more than a kick, because grace is the heart of Christianity.
In my quiet time this morning, I was reading another one of Paul's letters, Second Corinthians. In chapter 12, Paul was writing about the thorn that was given him in the flesh. People have made guesses what this thorn is, but in truth, no one really knows. Paul wrote "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me." He pleaded with the Lord. This was no casual prayer, it came from his gut. He was deeply bothered by it and desired release.
What is God's response? "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness." We typically look at Paul as a towering hero of the faith, but how many of us at our core would say that we believed that he was a hero because of his weakness?
For many Christians, one of our thorns is failure to believe that the gospel is actually good news. We read that God's power is made perfect in the weakness of Paul, or any of the heroes of the faith described in Hebrews 11 and we think, yeah...but. We think that even though they were weak on some level, their strengths outweighed their weaknesses. And then we look at our own lives and we feel weak and fearful. God's grace is sufficient for us too. His power is made perfect in our weaknesses.
Did you ever stop and wonder how God's power could be made perfect? Isn't He already all powerful? Here's what I think, the power that the Lord was speaking of is the power of the cross. The power of the cross, the ever flowing fountain of grace, was made perfect in our weaknesses. It's power was shown in the ability to deliver us from sin by no merit of our own.
Second Corinthians 12 should be a huge encouragement to us. In the light of his grace, we should be eager to share our weaknesses with one another. As a community of believers, we should be eager not only to share our joys and successes, but to share our brokenness and our pain. Why? Because God's grace is sufficient even in our darkest days.
So boast in the cross. Boast in God's goodness to you. Go on a grace kick. Because Christ is strong, you are free to be weak.