Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
In 1799, Conrad Reed found a seventeen-pound rock as he fished in Little Meadow Creek.
Not knowing its
composition, he and his family used it as a doorstop for three years. In 1802,
his father, John Reed, noticed it and took it to a jeweler. The jeweler
identified it as a lump of gold worth $3,600. Reed’s gold nugget stands as one
of the largest ever found east of the Rockies. But until the jeweler determined
its composition, its value remained unknown.
Our faith is like the rock: gold. Until God challenges its composition, its strength stays unknown. The great missionary, Paul, discovered this too.
Although God used Paul to take the gospel to the known world, he did so with a thorn. Theologians offer several guesses as to the thorn’s identity. What we do know is that the thorn aggravated Paul enough for him to petition God on several occasions to remove it.
God’s response to Paul was probably not what Paul wanted . . . but what Paul learned to live with and accept: God’s grace was sufficient. Then, God told Paul he must keep the thorn. By doing so, he would experience God’s grace in a way he would not have had God removed the thorn. Strange, but God often works this way.
God allows trials in our lives, not to hurt us, but to strengthen and prove our faith. His grace has been sufficient in the past. He sent Jesus to act as our substitute. Had Jesus not died for our sins, we would have had to die for our own sins. Jesus’ sacrifice proved sufficient for God to offer forgiveness to everyone.
God’s grace stands sufficient for the future. The forgiveness of sin God provides when we ask is good for the present and the future. Jesus said no one can snatch us from His hands once we’re there. He is also preparing a place for us and promises to return for us when the time is right—at His Second Coming or our death.
God’s future grace gets us through the present, as it did Paul. What we’ve experienced in the past—and what we know by faith lies ahead—gets us through whatever trials we face. No matter how intense the ordeal, God tells us the same thing as he did Paul: My grace is sufficient.
Be a willing participant in God’s trials. They will prove the composition of your faith.
Prayer: Father, we trust You for grace to carry us through our life trials.
Tweetable: Are you trusting God for your thorny issues?
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