II Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Grace! Wonderful, sweet, beautiful, sufficient grace!
The Apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh. He asked the Lord three times that it might depart from him.
The Lord did not take away that thorn in the flesh. Instead, there is a beautiful answer given to Paul. What did the Lord say? “My grace is enough, is sufficient for you. My power reaches its perfection, its goal in weakness.”
Grace. Grace is beauty. God is beautiful in Himself – He is lovely and charming, and contemplates Himself as such.
Grace is also a power – the power by which God saves the sinner from sin, and makes him pleasant and beautiful in His sight. In Jesus Christ God sees us as beautiful. Of ourselves we are ugly, disgusting sinners. In Christ we are lovely before God.
This is the grace, the power that comes to its goal in our weakness. This weakness of which the Apostle speaks is trust in and dependence upon Christ’s strength and power alone. You will find this kind of weakness as a saint lies on his back, sick with cancer. This is the kind of weakness you will observe when a parent is bowed down with grief, because his child has left the communion of the saints. No, stricken by a trial, these saints are not leaning on their own flesh for strength, but only upon the power of Christ. Weak they are. But strong in Christ.
Do you know that kind of weakness? Do I? May we say, with the Apostle Paul, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” A most striking confession! Paul would boast in his weaknesses, for the purpose that the power of Christ would dwell upon him!
Last night, the Protestant Reformed mass choir sang a song entitled, “His Grace Will Lead Us Through.” May I suggest, young people, that you attend this concert this coming Sunday night? Here is one stanza, with the chorus included, from that song:
“Though the trials come, though the road seems long, it is in the valley His arms are strong. When we lean on Jesus in all that we do, His grace will lead us through! His grace is sufficient; He’s merciful and true. Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word! His grace will lead us through.”