The Gift of Grace

Receiving God’s Grace
in my Weakness

 
“My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness.”
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9   (NLT)
 

During our time of suffering many of my fleshly weaknesses and sins were exposed.  After two and a half years of Godly counseling & therapy though I thought that I had come out on the other side of that valley totally renewed – free from my sins and weaknesses.  NOT!!!!!!!  (Oh God forgive me for my youth and naivety!)

Now as I have grown older I am more aware of my weaknesses and the sin that still exists within me.  This has caused me much frustration and shame.  Oh, how I identify with the Apostle Paul when he said … 

 
I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong;
it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right,
I inevitably do what is wrong.
I love God’s law with all my heart.
But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.
This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Oh, what a miserable person I am!
 ROMANS 7:19-24   (NLT) 
 
What a dilemma! Now I knew that I needed to repent of my sin but I always believed that true repentance was admitting my sin and then consciously making a 180-degree turn away from that sin.  I have sincerely done this a thousand times but oh the guilt that I experienced every time I would fall again.  I felt hopeless because I was unable to fix myself – instead of turning to God I turned away from God in shame.  But I have since come to agree with the Apostle Paul when he concluded … 
 
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
ROMANS 7:24-25  (NLT)
 
Amen!!!  Thank you Jesus – the answer is You!   But I still wanted to know how to resolve my sin dilemma.

Well, I have recently learned that true repentance is going before God – admitting my sin, weaknesses and my inability to resolve them in my own power.  Instead of turning away from God – I turn to Him because I know that the only resolution to sin will come through His grace, His power and His Strength within me. I trust the words of Paul … 

 
And I am certain that God,
who began the good work within you,
will continue his work until it is finally finished
on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
PHILIPPIANS 1:6   (NLT) 
 
I no longer am frustrated by my weakness but I humbly turn them over to God, receive His Grace and trust Him to continue the good work within me

I love it when the Scripture validates my own personal experience.  The Apostle Paul was one of the most gifted and influential Christians in recorded history.  God used him to firmly establish and expand the early church.  Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he penned most of the New Testament Epistles.  He is regarded by most scholars as one of the strongest examples of a true Christian.  Yet Paul had a major weakness.

Paul was given a “thorn” in his flesh.  We do not know if this was a physical or an emotional weakness but we do know that he was “tormented” by the “thorn”.  He pleaded three times for the “Lord to take it away from me.”

But God’s response was no.  God allowed Paul’s torment, his weakness to, remain.  God knew that Paul’s weakness kept him dependent upon Him for strength and grace.  God also knew that Paul’s weakness spared him from self-dependence and pride because Paul knew how much he needed God’s Grace.

It is no different for us.  We need God’s grace.  No matter how disappointed we may be in our failures and weaknesses, God is gracious and generous in dispensing His grace to us.  Our human frailty is not an affront to Him – “He remembers that we are dust.”  The more we lack, the more His grace will fill us. 

When we turn to Him, admit our weaknesses and limitations to God, we take the first step toward receiving His all-sufficient grace.  No wonder Paul found delight in his weaknesses and difficulties.  He knew what when he was weak; God’s grace would make him even stronger.  I am so glad to proclaim as Paul did …

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me. 
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses,
and in the insults, hardships, persecutions,
and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10   (NLT)

 
On the journey with you,

 Jan Dravecky