October 3, 2014

Grace for Glory

A friend and former colleague of Jack's sent us this meditation by Jerry Bridges. It is beautiful and so "right on". Please pray for us that we may continue to receive this gift of contentment in the difficult way that God has set before us. God's grace has been and is and will always be sufficient for us.

Grace for Glory

Today's Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you."
Read it online at the Bible Gateway: (NIV) (NASB) (KJV) (The Message)

God's grace is not given to make us feel better but to glorify him. Modern society's subtle, underlying agenda is good feelings. We want the pain to go away. We want to feel better in difficult situations. But God wants us to glorify him in those circumstances. Good feelings may or may not come, but that's not the issue. The issue is whether we honor God by the way we respond to our circumstances. God's grace—the enabling power of the Holy Spirit—is given to help us respond in such a way.

God's grace is sufficient. The Greek verb for is sufficient in 2 Corinthians 12:9 is translated "will be content" in 1 Timothy 6:8: "If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content" (NIV). This helps us understand what sufficient means. Food and clothing refer to life's necessities, not luxuries. If we have the necessities, we're to be content, realizing they're sufficient.

So it is with God's grace in the spiritual realm. God always gives us what we need, perhaps sometimes more, but never less. The spiritual equivalent of food and clothing is simply the strength to endure in a way that honors God. Receiving that strength, we're to be content. We would like the "luxury" of having our particular thorn removed, but God often says, "Be content with the strength to endure that thorn." We can be confident he always gives that.

John Blanchard said, "so he [God] supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God's grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly."  - Jerry Bridges