Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Grace is Sufficient

    In Malawi (can you tell this trip made an impact on my life?), several verses meant a lot to me. Psalm 139 was incredibly meaningful, and this particular verse meant a lot to me, on two different levels. I'll be speaking about one part of the verse today, and the other hopefully tomorrow.

    2 Corinthians 12:7-10 were the verses God used when I felt completely empty. Today, myself and the team I went with gave a presentation at our church of pictures and stories from our recent missions trip. While I was thinking about what to say, several of the memories I hadn't thought of in a couple weeks came back to me, this one being one of them.

    "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. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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 might rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

    I can remember multiple times just going outside the church I was preaching at in Africa and just dropping to my knees in the brush outside, just crying out to God that I was done, finished, empty. One particular time stands out very clearly when I just felt completely crushed by the absolute lunacy of the idea of a 16 year old, white, pampered, American kid being able to actually do anything for God.

    While I couldn't remember the rest of the passage or even the reference, God gave me that phrase over and over again, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Over and over again, I could feel the despair coming on, and over and over again I could feel God bringing that verse to my mind.

    Why was that particular verse so meaningful? Because that first phrase that I'll address today contains a really important truth if we could just hammer it through our thick teen skulls.

    It's not all about you. It's not all about me. Those thoughts and emotions I was feeling outside a little mud church in Malawi were real. I am not able to serve God as faithfully as I ought. I cannot fulfill the great commission. I cannot preach the gospel as I ought.

    But you know who can? God can, through me. So despite my failures, my sins, my downfalls, my temptations, God's grace is sufficient. It's sufficient to cover my sin, it's enough to keep me going, to give me the strength to continue. God's grace is sufficient for me.

    Sometimes we get this idea in our head that we have to save the world on our own, that somehow the burden of the world's salvation is on our shoulders and is our responsibility. No wonder we get depressed! But if we look at everything through the eyes of my own disability and God's ability, we see how great things can be accomplished. Because God's grace is sufficient.

    God did not commission the disciples to run out and just wildly swing at the Devil. No, He gave the battle plan. Go out, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all that Jesus' commanded us to do. But He concluded with a promise, that He would be with us.

    God sends us out as sheep among wolves. But He sends us out with the promise of His presence and of His power, so that as Eric Ludy says, "we are like little lambs, with the faces of lions." It's not about what you or I can do, it's about what we will allow God to do with His grace and power through us. We don't have to be the best preacher, or the best writer, or the best witness. All we have to do is give our best and allow God to work with us and through us.

    So, when you get discouraged, and you start wondering what exactly a teen like you, or a kid like you, or a young adult like you is doing trying to work for God when you know how messed up you really are, remember! It's not about us! It's not about how strong, how smart, how informed, how amazing we are!

    It's all about Christ. It's about the amazing all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It's about His amazing gift of His unmerited favor, His grace that can shine through every facet of our lives, and glow with the very presence of God. It's all about the strength of God in me, through every trail and every test. It's about the very goodness and love of God. It is sufficient. Nothing else is needed. His grace is sufficient!


  1. Wow, Taylor, this is so encouraging! I mean it, seriously - this is very encouraging to me personally. Thank you so much!

    1. Good! I'm glad that it helped you. I know the feeling! :)