Saturday, November 21, 2015

Your grace IS sufficient...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

This beautiful work of art by Tamara Peterson inspired me as I listened to the most anointed song, Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong Worship...this drew my heart to a word study of 2 Corinthians 12:9:

NASB: And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Amplified: But He said to me, “My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

Phillips:  but his reply has been, "My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely." Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ.

Wuest: And He has said to me, and His declaration still stands, “My grace is enough for you, for power is moment by moment coming to its full energy and complete operation in the sphere of weakness.” Therefore, most gladly will I the rather boast in my weaknesses in order that the power of the Christ [like the Shekinah Glory in the Holy of Holies of the Tent of Meeting] may take up its residence in me [working within me and giving me help].

Young's Literal:  and He said to me, “Sufficient for thee is My grace, for My power in infirmity is perfected;” most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may rest on me.

The Message: and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.

A Greek word study of this Scripture reveals that Jesus’ first words are "is sufficient" which places emphasis on our supply of His grace; a truth which gives us encouragement to face difficult times. Jesus' response to Paul follows a chiastic pattern (a literary device in which a sequence of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order. The result is a “mirror” effect as the ideas are “reflected” back in a passage. Each idea is connected to its “reflection” by a repeated word, often in a related form...e.g., he came in triumph and in defeat departs)

A...is sufficient
    
B...for you
          
C...my grace
         
C...my power
    
B...in weakness
A...is perfected

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect IN weakness.”


IN distresses—circumstances forced upon you, reversals of fortune against your will. This could refer to any situation where you feel trapped. You didn’t plan it or think it would be this way. But there you are, and it’s hard.

IN persecutions—wounds, abuses, painful circumstances, acts of prejudice or exploitation from people because of your Christian faith or your Christian moral commitments. It’s when you are not treated fairly.

Whether IN distresses or persecutions, Corrie Ten Boom encourages us...Look at self and be distressed,Look at others and be depressed,
Look at Jesus and you’ll be at rest!

The word grace comes from the Greek word, charis meaning “to rejoice.” Someone has written that the word grace is probably the greatest word in the Scriptures, even greater even than “love,” because grace is love in action, and therefore includes it.

Charis is a word which can be somewhat difficult to define but one of the most familiar definitions is "God's unmerited favor." In the present context, grace speaks of the supernatural power available to Paul to enable him to bear up under his "weakness", the trial of a thorn in his flesh. Grace is God's unmerited help for one undeserving with no thought or ability to give recompense. Grace is not some static concept but is a dynamic force, which totally transforms the believer's life beginning with salvation, continuing in our sanctification, and then all through eternity in our glorification. Grace enables the believer to endure without grumbling or complaining, and enables our weakness or suffering to be used for God's glory.

Grace is God’s supernatural provision for our every need when we need it. God in His grace gives us what we do not deserve, and in His mercy He does not give us what we do deserve.

Pastor John MacArthur writes: “When God declared to Paul in answer to his prayer, “My grace is sufficient for you,” He affirmed the total sufficiency of His grace for every need in life—to believe the gospel; to understand and apply the Word to all the issues of life; to overcome sin and temptation; to endure suffering, disappointment, and pain; to obey God; to serve Him effectively; and to worship Him. God’s grace was sufficient for the deepest pain Paul (or any other believer) could ever experience.”

Pastor Hanmer William Webb-Peploe was born in 1837, in England.
When asked about his favorite Bible verse, he replied in writing: A very large number of texts have been, in my lifetime, of special service to me, through the goodness of God; but that if I have to choose one out of the whole book which has been of special help to me, I should mention the words in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for thee,” which were made by God’s mercy at a time of special trial a blessing of remarkable force to my soul. It had pleased God to remove my youngest child under circumstances of peculiar trial and pain, and I had just laid my little one’s body in the church yard when, on returning home, I felt it my duty to preach to my people on the meaning of trial, and finding that this text was in the lesson for the following Sunday, I chose it as my Master’s message to them and myself; but, on trying to prepare my notes, I found that in honesty I could not say that the words were true, and therefore knelt down and earnestly asked God to “Let His grace be sufficient for me,” and while I was thus pleading I opened my eyes and saw a framed illuminated text, which my mother had given me only a few days before, which was placed upon the wall during my absence at the holiday resort where my little one was taken away from us. I did not notice the words on returning to my house, but as I looked up and wiped my eyes, the words met my gaze, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” The ‘is’ was picked out in bright green, while the ‘my’ and the ‘thee’ were painted in another color. In one moment the message came straight to my soul, as a rebuke for offering such a prayer as “Lord let thy grace be sufficient for me:” for the answer was almost as an audible voice, “How dare you ask for that which is? God cannot make it any more sufficient than he has made it: get up and believe it and you will find it true, because the Lord says it in the simplest way: “My grace is (not shall be or may be) sufficient for thee.” The lesson that came to me, and which I seek to convey to others, is, “Never turn God’s facts into hopes or prayers, but simply use them as realities and you will find them powerful as you believe them.”

After the homegoing of my Daddy, Eston Willis, we discovered in his Bible the following poem which describes our Master Weaver's plan…
My life is but a weaving, between my Lord and me; I cannot choose the colors. He worketh steadily. Oft times He weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride, forget He sees the upper and I the under side. Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly, shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why, the dark threads are as needful in the Weaver’s skillful hands, as the threads of gold and silver, in the pattern He has planned.

Consider the underside of a handmade tapestry described in this poem. The elaborate coordinated threads on the exterior side of the fabric, woven with precision and creativity, produce a work of art intended by the weaver. The side that will not be seen, however, is a tangled mess of thread, yarn, and knots. How similar to life! Christ uses what appears to be random circumstances with no meaning—simply knots and tangles—and makes something beautiful out of them.

Lord Jesus, help me keep my focus on You, even in suffering, knowing that You are at work mending and making whole, raising up the broken to life...IN my weakness...
thank You for Your promise that Your grace IS sufficient for this day. Thank you for the power and grace of Your Holy Spirit, Who gives me the strength to persevere in prayer even when I am at my weakest moment and ready to give up. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:9

Look In—as you meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:9 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:9 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

36 comments:

  1. What an encouraging post, Beth. God's grace is sufficient to carry us through any thing we face.

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    1. Thank you, Sherry. I so appreciate you sharing my post on your Facebook page, that was very thoughtful. Many blessings to you!

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  2. "...places emphasis on our supply of His grace."

    I love that the emphasis is on His grace and not my weakness. His supply of grace is never ending! Thank you for this!

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    1. Angie, thank you for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment! I so agree with you...many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. So much "good stuff" to chew on here, Beth! I LOVE all the word studies. And I am feeling very weak in every way these days, so thank you for this timely reminder that God's strength IS--not could be, not might be, but IS--enough. And God's "enough" is really always more than enough. Stopping by from #WordswithWinter!

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! I love word studies, too, digging a little deeper always reveals such treasure in God's word...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Grace is certainly a reason to rejoice!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Amen, Michele! I so agree with you...thanks for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Beth,
    I love your studies and God has really been hammering "grace" and the giving of it home to me this week. Your post and the fact that I'm linked up twice next to you tells me that God has some real meat here. "Grace is love in action"...needed to be reminded of this. And, the Phillips translations that says I can be proud of my weaknesses because they mean a "deeper experience of the power of Christ." Thank you for helping me/us mine God's Word for the precious Truth it holds!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    1. Bev, thank you so much for your encouraging comments...you have expressed the desire of my heart...to share with others what our Lord has used to encourage me. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  6. Wonderful Beth. HIS grace is sufficient. Thank you for sharing with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings to you dear friend xxxx

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    1. Thank you, sweet Terri! I so enjoy linking up with you at Good Morning Mondays...many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Beth, I just love visiting with you, Love! I can count on your words to bless me every single time. Thank you so much, beautiful friend! GOD bless you! :-)

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    1. Tai, you are such a sweet encourager, thank you for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. All I can add is Yes and Amen! Great post, Beth!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Karrilee, I really appreciate your comments! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. I always enjoy your studies, Beth...thank you for taking us so much deeper into this verse today. His grace is sufficient for all our needs! #RaRaLinkup

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    1. Angela, it is such a joy to share with such sweet sisters in Christ who are so affirming...thank you! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. Thank you so much, Beth, for this wonderful post on God's grace. I have so often marveled and been very aware of God's grace in my life. No doubt, His grace IS enough. Thank you for putting words to my heart!

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    1. Michele, I so appreciate you sharing your heart with me...you have described the reason why I write so eloquently...putting words to our hearts! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  11. How sweet to know and remember that God's grace is always available for all times.
    Thanks for this encouragement, have a super blessed day!
    Love

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by...many blessings to you ❤️

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  12. Such a wonderfully thorough study of this beautiful passage! Thank you for reminding me that his grace is enough, Beth. Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Laura, I so appreciate you stopping by...many blessings for your Thanksgiving, too ❤️

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  13. Happy Thanksgiving Beth! I am so glad to have read this today! Thanking God for all the treads that make the tapestry of my life, including you!!!

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    1. Thank you, Donna. It is so true, isn't it? God sees the end from the beginning and He provides exactly what we need each day of our lives. So glad you reached out to me...many Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family too ❤️

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  14. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement!

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    1. Rose, thank you so much for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  15. Thanks for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival! Hope you are having a blessed Thanksgiving week-end.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. Many Thanksgiving blessings to you too ❤️

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  16. Beth, you were also my neighbor at Week-End Whispers. His grace really is amazing! And to think it is ours for the asking just when we need it (Heb. 4.16)! We may wonder, at times, what if I were called to die for the cause of Christ, could I do it? YES! but not because of any strength in me, but because if He called me to do it, He would also give me the grace! That's so comforting to know,

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    1. Amen, Donna. His grace is everything we need. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  17. I am so thankful for God's grace - that I might face each day, each trial, each challenge with confidence knowing that even where I am weak, He is made strong! Thank you for this study!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Lori, I so agree with you! Thanks so much for stopping by.. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  18. Beth,
    I love your looking at the different versions of Scripture. Thanks so much for linking to Word of God Speak. We certainly agree that being in His Word is the best thing ever!
    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Amen, Janis! Your website says it all..."Word of God Speak"...and He does, the Word made flesh Who dwells among us! Many blessings to you.

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