“My grace is sufficient for you.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
What kept the apostle Paul going? Seriously.
The Holy Spirit would tell him to go preach in this town or in that city and they’d beat him half dead. They’d stone him and throw him in prison. God would tell Paul to get in a boat and it would wreck. The Lord would send Paul on a mission to establish a church and a year later that church and its leaders would turn on him. It was constant with Paul. One thing after another. Paul never had any relief.
And I know he must have thought about quitting.
As the flesh on his back was shredded by lash #37.
As his heart was ripped out by the biting criticisms and harsh condemnations coming from his own brothers and sisters he had just recently baptized.
As his body wasted away in a dark and damp dungeon under the downtown streets of Rome.
What kept him going?
Paul was not able to endure, he was not able to fight the good fight and finish the race, because he somehow was able to muster up the strength and the courage and the energy to run one more lap. Paul hit the wall and ran through it over and over again. But he never claims one time to have done it by his own power. Paul’s ability to persevere is a divinely granted gift from from God. The power to endure, the power to persevere, the power to run through the wall, “this all surpassing power is from God, not from us.”
My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is enough for you. My power is plenty for you.
It’s easy to believe in grace for the past and the future. Past grace is what saved me from my sins. Past grace is what redeemed me and brought me into God’s Kingdom. Future grace is what’s going to get me to heaven. Future grace will lead me home. Or at least, this is how we view it most of the time.
True faith is resting in God’s grace to provide us with the strength we need to endure every immediate need; God’s grace to provide us with the power to persevere through all our present circumstances. That’s faith. Right now, at this very moment, and in every moment you’re going to have between now and the end of your race, God’s grace is sufficient for you.
173 years ago today, 48 delegates from the 48 territories of Texas gathered for a convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos to sign a Declaration of Independence. Santa Anna’s Mexican army had more than 180 Texans trapped in the Alamo. But with the signing of this document, Texas was on its way to becoming “a free, Sovereign, and independent Republic, fully invested with all the rights and attributes which properly belong to independent nations.”
Happy Texas Independence Day! God bless the Republic!