February 18, 2020
God's Grace Speaks of His Love for You
"But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
"If this is how God loves, then I don't want any part of it," a friend said to me as I sat across from her in a coffee shop.
She had experienced a long season of difficulty that left her discouraged and disillusioned with God. "I'm a good person," she reasoned. "I try to live right."
Her statements expressed the sentiment of the age-old question: "If God is loving, why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?" I could relate. I, too, had experienced difficult seasons, not once or twice but multiple times in my life.
In those times, I'd been tempted to doubt the love of God. This is because I, like my friend, had mistakenly equated God's love with a trouble-less life. Although this type of life does not exist, there is a strong temptation to assume if you worship, serve and love God, your life will be void of problems.
When we look at the men and women of the Bible, we realize God's love is constant in the midst of difficulties. We see this when we examine the life of Paul: "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Corinthians 12:8‑9 NIV).
Paul, a bold servant of God, made a desperate plea for resolution not once but three times, yet he was denied. Scripture does not indicate the source of Paul's discomfort, but we know he was tormented by it. Paul had every reason to question the love of God because his life was anything but trouble free.
As he served and loved God, he experienced rejection, stoning, shipwrecks and extreme persecution. He may have been tempted to feel unloved by the very God he purposed to serve. From Paul, however, we learn God's love is seen in the sufficient grace He gives us in the midst of our times of trouble.
In Hebrew, the word grace translates to "loving kindness" or "the Lord's favor." From this single word, God extends His favor toward humanity, demonstrating how He is inclined to be near to us. When we experience seasons of difficulty, we can seek safety in the shelter of God's grace.
Although the temptation to equate God's love with the absence of trouble may persist, we can choose to shift our focus to His unmatched favor and loving kindness. This grace continuously communicates we are loved deeply by God regardless of what we experience in life. What He allows may be the very tool He uses to draw us closer to Him. If you find yourself in the middle of a difficult season, know that God's sustaining grace speaks of His great love for you.
Dear God, when I am faced with seasons of difficulty, please help me to see Your sufficient grace as a reminder of Your great love for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Daniel 10:19, "‘Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,' he said. ‘Peace! Be strong now; be strong.' When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.'" (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How have you seen God's sufficient grace in your life? In what way has His grace reminded you of His love for you? Share your thoughts in our comments section!
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