This Very Moment…
My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The text cited above is an answer to prayer. The Apostle Paul had had a unique experience. A vision and a revelation had been given him such as no other man had ever known (2 Con 12:1-4). In order that he should not be puffed up about these things, he said that God had given him a “thorn in the flesh” (v. 7) —evidently an illness of some kind, perhaps ophthalmia. Three times Paul had prayed for healing. The Lord’s answer was: “My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
The first clause of the Lord’s answer, “My grace is sufficient for thee;” begs our attention. What would you consider the most important word in this statement? Some would suggest “grace”; others, “sufficient”; still others, another word.
1. Grace. This word, in its use as a divine property, denotes the favor that God bestows, a favor completely void of any human merit on the part of its recipient. In their redemption men do not receive what they deserve, which is condemnation, but God’s free gift of forgiveness and salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves (i.e. not by works): it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Not only does God provide salvation graciously, but by His grace He also bestows strength to live the Christian life, and by the same grace He guards securely all those who have placed their faith in His Son. Grace represents what God can do and will do for His own people.
2. Sufficient. The fullness of God’s grace is all that the word “sufficient” denotes. It is enough that anyone needs. Philip said to the Lord Jesus, “Show us the Father and it sufficeth us” (John 14:8). That was all Philip needed. It was met in Christ (v. 9). God is able to do for us exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think (Eph. 3:20), which is certainly sufficient for everyone.
3. My. It is the Lord Jesus who bestows this grace. It is not the favor of some normal human being, however great or powerful he may be, but the favor of the Son of God which is bestowed on us to give us strength day by day.
4. Thee. For whom is this divine grace sufficient? The word “thee” applies first of all to the Apostle Paul, to whom the Lord offered His strength. But it encompasses you and me as well. Every Christian can cling to the promise with utmost assurance. Have we not often believed in and acted upon it in our weakness, to find it sufficient for our strength?
5. Is. Every word of the text is important, but to my mind the word “is” may be the most vital. Observe that divine grace is sufficient. Of course it was sufficient yesterday, it was drawn upon. Certainly it will be enough tomorrow on the same condition. But right now, this very moment, the grace of the Lord is yours to draw on — for every temptation, for all trials, for whatever your special need may be. You don’t have to fall back upon past help. You need not wait until you get to heaven, or for a year, or even for a day or an hour. This precise moment God’s grace is sufficient for you. The strength of the Lord Himself will be made complete for you in your present weakness, whatever it is. Avail yourself of His grace today.
—E. Schuyler English
in The Pilgrim