MIF 13:6 (Nov-Dec 1981)
The Strength of God’s Grace
“And He said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In this simple yet profound statement God reveals to us through the Apostle Paul something of the magnitude of His grace. Whatever Paul’s infirmity was, it was part of God’s plan for him; and God gave him the grace not only to endure it, but to glory in it.
God’s sovereign grace is bestowed on us in three ways. First, we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Then under grace, the Holy Spirit, who indwells us from the day of salvation, intercedes to help us live a decent and orderly life in a world of spiritual opposition and chaos (1 John 3:24). Third, our lives are controlled, sustained, and kept eternally secure by God’s grace. We can no more maintain a right standing with God and live a victorious Christian life in our own strength than we can be redeemed without putting our faith in Christ and His finished work on Calvary.
It is no accident that grace and peace are always mentioned in that order in the epistles. There can be no peace in the human heart without first knowing the grace of God from whom all blessings flow in undiminished strength and unlimited quantity. Let us never take the grace of God for granted, but as freely as it is bestowed on us, let us show love and mercy to others, thus fulfilling the law of Christ by helping to bear their burdens. Let us be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
God always moves and speaks to us through our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the flow of grace is no exception. John tells us that “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). His throne is the one and only source of grace. So when we need a measure of grace to strengthen, comfort and guide us, we have only to approach that throne with courage and confidence. “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
—Arthur F. Wilder