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My grace is sufficient for you

February 25th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, family, Pastor's corner, sermons, stella

You know the drill. Things are going well, no crisis, no conflicts to speak of, pretty much smooth sailing.

Then seemingly out of nowhere, a storm hits. Maybe it’s a crisis, or a hardship. Maybe it’s a personal tragedy.

So what do you do when a hurricane-force storm hits and water is filling your boat?

Answer: You take heart. Because you are not alone.

When Paul was at sea on his way to Rome and the mighty tempest hit him and the others on board, he was able to courageously encourage others. He told them, “But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me” (Acts 27:22-23).

God was with him

How was Paul able to be so confident?

He was conscious of the presence of God in the face of danger. He knew that God was there with him.

And God is with us in our storms as well. God will always give us what we need when we need it.

You remember that Paul had what he called his “thorn in the flesh,” which was presumably some kind of physical disability or illness. He asked the Lord three times to remove it (see 2 Corinthians 12).

God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9), which is another way of saying, “I will be with you, Paul. Instead of a healing, I will personally be there in a special and sufficient way.”

Now it is the Lord

A. B. Simpson wrote these words:

“Once it was the Blessing, now it is the Lord.

Once it was the Feeling, now it is His Word.

Once His Gifts I wanted, now the Giver alone.

Once I sought Healing, now Himself alone.”

God is with you right now, regardless of the storm or even the shipwreck. We may not hear an audible voice, but you may hear that “still small voice” of God’s Holy Spirit. Or He will speak to you through His Word.

Then you, like Paul, can reassure others that “the Lord is in control.”

Time and time again, God reminded Paul of His presence.

  1. He was there when Paul was in jail in Jerusalem, as Jesus told him to “be courageous!” (Acts 23:11)
  2. It happened in 2 Timothy 4:16-17 when Paul said, “All deserted me . . . but the Lord stood by me.”
  3. And it happened here in Acts 27, in the midst of the storm.

When the boss calls you in his office . . .

You can take heart in the face of danger or uncertainty because you are aware of God’s presence with you.

When your boss says, “I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to let you go!” Or when the doctor says, “The test results are back and I need you to come in.” Or when the telephone rings and someone says, “There’s been an accident.”

You are not alone. The Lord is standing next to you. He cares. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

I have been teaching my granddaughter Stella a new Bible verse that I will leave you with today: “Jesus said, I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)

8 Responses to “My grace is sufficient for you”

  1. Hayley says:

    God is so great and so amazing! Thank you so much for this. It’s such a big help to me right now! I’ve been reading the Harvest Daily Devotion for the last three days and really keeping God’s Word close to my heart because I found out on Monday that I could be losing my job. Well, today, as I read the verse, I got the phone call and I did lose my job. After I got off the phone, I read the rest of the devotion and it gave me such great peace! I know God has something better out there for me! And I know in this difficult time that He is sufficient and there is no need to worry!

  2. Angela says:

    Pastor Greg,

    Thank you so much for your blog entry: “My grace is sufficient for you.” I and my family are going through stormy times, and it is comforting to know that God is always with us and sees everything and knows all. I am on my second bout with the flu in two weeks and exhausted from work and the emotional highs and lows my family of origin is experiencing. But I know that God is showing me something about myself in all this and stretching me and my faith in Him. I just have to ride it out, pray, and trust that He has control of everything.

    I have been meditating on Philippians 4:6-7 during the past few weeks: “Be anxious for nothing, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Keep up the wonderful work Pastor Greg. May God bless you and keep you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Greg:

    Your words reminded me something I recently read that my son wrote in his blog. I see that our world and nation is in turmoil, and I believe we need words of hope, and thank you for yours. I’d like to share the following with you:

    “We are justified in God’s eyes by faith in Him at His word. As Abraham did not waver at God’s promises, and was fully convinced that what God said, He would do . . . We too are justified by faith in Jesus, His death and resurrection. But it does not end there!!! We also have ‘access by faith into this grace . . . ‘ always!!!

    Trials will come. Did you read that? I said trials will come. Does it mean we are not favored by God or that He is mad at us? Absolutely not!!! But rather, He loves us so much that He does not want us to just experience His grace once, when we first believe, but to experience His grace in our life day by day by day by day by day . . . You get the point! Paul states, “We have access into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of God . . . and not only that! Paul states, ‘And not only that, but we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’ (Romans 5:3-4)

    Through God’s grace, we can glory in trials because these things get us on our knees. When we are on our knees we receive supernatural power to endure. And when people see us persevering through the difficulty they see us as a person of character, unwavering and solid. And that right there brings hope, to others and also to ourselves as we look back and reflect on God’s grace that got us through!

    As my family faces uncertainty, I know without a shadow of doubt, the same grace God gave me in salvation, is the same grace that is available to me today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that . . . forever. Grace is what made Paul rejoice in his own personal trials (2 Corinthians 12:9). Grace is what helped Paul get through. God’s grace is enough! So what should I do about this trial that may get all big and scary next month????!!!! Receive God’s grace through faith today. Tomorrow will worry about its own. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Just receive God’s grace today . . . And if God gives you another day to live tomorrow, just do what you do today, receive His grace today, for He himself has said, “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

  4. Jaymi says:

    I’m shocked that there are only two comments so far. Thank you so much for this word of encouragement! He is with us through all of it. The storms and the calm . . . He will complete the work He has begun in us. The author and the finisher of our faith. When it’s all said and done, we have the blessed hope of Heaven. Praise God! We will look back, and it will all be worth it. Thanks again for the reminder.

    Hebrews 13:5 is one of my favorite Scriptures. I love how the Lord solidifies his promise by repeating it three times, as though speaking on behalf of the Father, the Son and, the Holy Spirit: “I will never, no never, no never leave you nor forsake you!”

  5. Ramona says:

    Brother Greg, a lady at my church gave me the article that was in Decision about your son’s accident. I just wanted you to know how much it meant to me. I am on Staff at Sevier Heights, and so was my oldest son Jeremy. My husband Dwayne and I have four sons.

    Jeremy loved to hike in the mountains. On November 3, 2008, he fell 30 feet while hiking. He was in the hospital until December 3, when he went to see Jesus. We miss him. I know you understand the incredible pain. God has been sufficient. I just wanted you to know your son’s life is still touching others. Your words are giving others hope. “Press On Toward the Mark of the High Calling.” God sends a special blessing my way every day to keep me going. Just last week, I heard about Preston Parrish and his son’s story. God uses all things . . . we really are seeing Him use Jeremy’s life. It just hurts a lot.

    Joy to you,
    Ramona Frye

  6. Teri says:

    It is so comforting to know that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us! He is always there in the good times and the trials of life. Praise God for all that he has done and will continue to do in my life! That is so cool that Stella is hiding God’s Word in her heart! Blessings~ Teri

  7. Bill says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,

    Since October 1, 2008, I have been out of work and my deepening financial condition sometimes seems to literally be strangling the life out of me. While I have not taken the time to read your blog lately, feeling somewhat sorry for myself and lacking in faith, your message today was encouraging. In fact, while I was reading it, the Holy Spirit showed up to comfort me in an undeniable way—God is so good!

    This is undoubtedly a time of testing for me (and many others) and I do find solace in the Word, prayer, and sharing. I am comforted to know Christ has a firm grasp on my life, even if my grip on Him seems to be slipping at times.

    My desire is to pass this test, and hold on to my faith until I see with my eyes His promised blessing. Jesus is so worthy of our trust and I seek to trust Him more—both today and in the days ahead.

    At the Preach the Word Conference, I asked you to pray that God will let me preach. I hope this is His will. Whatever His will is, I just want it to be accomplished in my life and to be found faithful, to stop worrying, and start trusting Him more.

    Thanks for your continued encouragement in the face of your own storm. Jesus will see is us through to a victorious arrival in His glorious kingdom! Maranatha!

    God bless you,
    Bill

  8. Heather says:

    Answer: You take heart. Because you are not alone.

    I tell myself that every time I have doubt. We are in that storm. My husband has been out of work since September and my 14-year-old son is struggling with anger and frustration. He is mad at the world and is questioning is faith, caught between what he is being taught in school and what he is taught in church. There are moments I feel my family is falling apart and at the moment . . . I take heart. I know the Lord has a plan and purpose for my husband and my son. And I know its in His time and not ours.

    I have been a member of Harvest for three years, and I wanted you to know what a blessing you and the church have been to my family. Although we are in the middle of our storm, I know we will come out stronger on the other side.

    In His loving name,
    Heather

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