Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Changed by Fourteen Words

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

The life of the Apostle Paul was changed by these fourteen words from Jesus. The nature and extent of this change is indicated by Paul’s testimony before and after he heard these fourteen words.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 Paul tells of a God-sent thorn-in-the-flesh. Evidently, Paul believed the thorn was limiting him in his God-given ministry. The thorn so troubled Paul that he asked the Lord three times to remove it.

Following Paul’s three requests for the removal of the thorn, Jesus said to him:

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

Because we receive God’s grace through faith, Jesus’ use of the words “grace” and “weakness” implies that weakness releases us from faith in ourselves and reduces us to faith in God.

Jesus’ use of the words “grace” and strength” shows that God’s provision of strength is one aspect of His grace.

The enormous change the fourteen words of Jesus brought to Paul was a transformation of his response to suffering. Paul testifies:

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9b-10

These fourteen words of Jesus can give every believer who seeks the power of God in his life the victorious response to suffering as Paul reveals in his testimony.

May we all understand that our suffering is our open door to God’s strength—which is one portion of His grace. If our suffering has left us feeling sorry for ourselves or in doubt of God’s love and power, receiving the words of Jesus will change us.