May 05, 2007

Sustained by Grace

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9


About a year ago I stopped by a local hospital to visit with a friend. Only a few days earlier she and her family had been told that her cancer had returned and that she would have only four to six months to live.

When I walked into her room, I caught a glimpse of Paul's meaning when he teaches that God's grace is sufficient. My friend could have been angry and upset. Instead, she told me that when the family first received the news, she opened her Bible, and it came open to Psalm 13:5-6, which she had underlined some years earlier: "I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me." She said that when she read those verses she literally felt the peace of God flood her entire body.

How is that possible? How could she say in one of her weakest moments, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me?" How can you praise God when there seems to be nothing left?

The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9, where God reminds Paul that his grace is sufficient. God's grace never fails. This doesn't mean we never cry or feel pain or go through tough times. It doesn't mean we try to accept everything with a smile. But because of God's grace we are able to go on, for even in weakness we experience his power.

Lord, we ask that you will give your grace to everyone who needs it in a special way today. Help us to trust in you. Fill us with your peace, we pray. For Jesus' sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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