I think the church has underestimated the power of grace and where we can apply it. One day the Apostle Paul was caught up into Heaven and given some revelations to share with the church. He didn’t know if he was in his body or not, but he was boasting about being in the spirit because he knew that it was Jesus who made it possible.
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
God didn’t send the devil after Paul and Paul was not puffed up with ego. Paul said only a fool would brag of himself. Paul was harassed by the devil because of the revelations Jesus gave him.
VS. 8 For this thing I besought the lord three times that it might depart from me. VS. 9 And the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient (enough) for you.”
The devil is trying to stifle Paul and kill him and Jesus tells him that His grace is all he needs. How is grace going to help Paul? If we go back to chapter eleven, we will discover exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. He was beaten five times with thirty-nine stripes each time and one day they stoned him to death. He was beaten with rods, robbed ship-wrecked, starved and rejected by his own people. How did Paul survive all of these satanic attacks? By the grace of God!
No man could endure five beatings and live. When he was stoned they pronounced him dead. His disciples gathered around him and prayed. He rose up, walked to a nearby city and continued to share his revelations. What the devil meant for death, God’s grace turned it into life every time. Paul never repented for being puffed up because he never was. He began to take pleasure in all persecutions because God’s grace enabled him to overcome.
2 Timothy 2:11 Of all my persecutions and afflictions I endured and the Lord delivered me from everyone. VS. 12 All that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
No matter what the devil threw at Paul, God’s grace protected him and he triumphed every time. He was given a thorn in the flesh because he lived godly, not because he was puffed up. We are under the same demonic attacks as Paul, but we all have the same measure of grace and it is enough for what we need. Grace does not relieve hardships, it assures the victory. Grace is a greater force than what the devil can offer us.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt words come out of your mouth, but that which is edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Grace is a product of the uncompromised Word of God. When you grow in the knowledge of His Word, you also grow in grace.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.