My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12.9
These are not some super-spiritual words that sound good but don’t hold up in real life.
This isn’t some wishful-thinking God-talk for some super-saints who live in another time or another world.
These are words, from Jesus, for real life, for us, today.
Paul, the very-spiritual Apostle, had some very-serious hurt going on. Some mean physical disability that stabbed him every time he moved. It was so painful and so constant he said it was like a sharp spike stuck in his body. It tormented him. It never left him.
And He did what all people of faith do. He prayed. He prayed three times. He pleaded with God to remove this piercing, constant agony.
And these words, these are Jesus’ answer to Paul. Jesus’ words to Paul when he wondered how he would be able to endure his painful thorn in the flesh.
Sometimes when we pray, God does not answer us the way we hoped He would.
Like praying for healing in a marriage, but it doesn’t come.
Or reconciliation of a broken relationship. But things remain slow and weird.
Or physical healing. For healing of emotional hurts, or from the memories and pain of disappointment.
It is always good to pray for grace of healing.
But remember this:
God’s sustaining grace is not a lesser gift than healing.
Maybe it’s even a greater gift because it reminds us not to forget how weak and needy we really are, and how great and sufficient He always is to carry us through.
His grace is always sufficient to sustain us, to carry us through. Always.
How about you? Could you share a story of how God hasn’t answered your prayer the way you had hoped, but His grace has sustained you?
You can listen to, or download last Sunday's message, Sustaining Grace here.