But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I wonder if you are like me and you have ever prayed for something with all the faith you could muster, all the fervency you could within you, asked God for something and it felt like He didn’t do anything you wanted. I mean you did everything, you fasted, you went to the front of the prayer line, you bargained with God and promised everything. Still nothing.
I’ve been there. We all have at some point.
So has Paul the Apostle.
Paul was in a battle, he was feeling the heat from the enemy and the pressure was unrelenting. He uses the word “Buffeted” in verse 7 of 2 Corinthians 12. Now, this is not a food buffet, although it feels like he was dinner for the enemy. The word buffeted carries with the idea of a clenched fist. The enemy was beating Paul, he was not holding back. Paul is living with this and he can’t figure a way out of it, he can’t see the end in sight.
So what does Paul do? He prays. Three times he enters this season of prayer for God to change this, call it off, give a word for this messenger to back off. Until finally the LORD answers him.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The LORD didn’t give Paul the answer he was looking for. He got so much more.
Paul heard the voice of the LORD, “But he said to me…”
At the start of this year, I was in a conversation with another Pastor and it was as if he just put his finger on something for me. I was hearing the voice of so many other things around me, that was distracting me, pulling me this way or that. We all experience this from time to time. You might hear that voice that accuses you, tells you are not good enough or there are so many other things in your life making so much noise.
Sometimes what we need to do or experience is what Paul got. He heard from the LORD. We need to at times turn the volume of His voice up in our lives or tune into what He says. The LORD said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.
We all know what it is experience a thing called amplification. If we are at a concert we benefit from amplification. What amplification does is takes a signal that weak and makes it stronger. Someone probably can give a better definition than that, this will suffice for me. The guy at a concert playing his guitar doesn’t have to hit the string harder to be heard because the process of amplification is at work for him.
God does the same for us in our areas of weakness. We don’t need to try harder or make more effort. No, God takes our weakness and listen to what He does, we do nothing, its so good, listen “my power is made perfect in weakness.”
God has always been doing this, go back to Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the weak, “And to those who have no might He increases strength.” God takes our puny feeble strength and puts His to it. We just need to trust, rest, wait on Him.
Paul then says this, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In other words, Paul is saying, see if I have God’s grace in me and on me, I can face it, I can endure or go through it.
Maybe you are like me and maybe need to reminded now and then God knows best. Maybe it isn’t a change in circumstances, maybe isn’t the prayer answered the way you think, maybe it is just a fresh glimpse of His grace in your life. Grace isn’t just for us at the beginning of our salvation, it’s for the whole way through. The hymn writer said it best
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home