God - “My gracious favour is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”
Paul - So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians chapter twelve, verses nine and ten)
Oh, how I love the above scripture, especially when Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong!” Lately, I have been hanging onto every word of it. In my weaknesses I need to remember to call out to God to help me in every way, through every day.
I sometimes get caught up with life, letting circumstances dictate how I feel; making me upset, worry or stress out. I forget to turn my attention to God and to His words and rely on His strength.
Life is full of challenges. We are reminded in John chapter sixteen verse thirty-three that we will face troubles and hardships, yet we can be courageous because Jesus has overcome the world.
Every person will face their own unique set of circumstances, challenges and hardships. Personally, I have some health issues and in my role as wife to my husband and Mum to two little ones I battle with feelings of failing, of not doing enough or being enough to my family.
Yet God in his love and goodness whispers to me…
“My grace is sufficient for you, for when you are weak then I am strong.”
God’s gift of grace
Grace: the unmerited and underserving favour of God.
God’s grace is a gift. A beautiful, overwhelming love gift. We cannot earn it, it is there for us to unwrap and receive.
Ephesians chapter two verse eight says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
It’s hard to be perfect, impossible in fact. And thank goodness we don’t have to be!
But does this mean we give up trying our best?
I think it means we keep reaching toward the day where we will be all God fashioned us to be, but if (or rather when) we do falter, we don’t have to live under condemnation and beat ourselves up until we are depressed and feel like utter failures.
Romans chapter eight verse one says, There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Reading these scriptures allows me to breathe out and feel a huge sense of relief. The knots in my stomach unravel and I instantly feel a sense of peace take over my being. Receiving, relying and then resting in God’s grace has totally changed my life.
Grace to self, grace to others
I’ve noticed something happen to me since I have truly grasped the meaning of God’s grace and allowed myself to rest in His amazing gift. I have been able to extend grace more freely to others.
So how exactly do we show grace to others?
There are many ways, but I think it largely comes down to loving others unconditionally because Christ loves us unconditionally. 1 John chapter four verse nineteen says, “We love because he first loved us”. In the natural this is hard, but again it takes me back to relying on God’s strength to shine out through my weaknesses.
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit can work through me, so I can live and rest in His grace, so my words and deeds are a blessing to others.
Jo Fuller is a primary school teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband, son and baby daughter.
Jo Fuller archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.presserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html