How to Find Strength in Hard Places: Part 2
Oftentimes, we tend to look towards worldly solutions when we run out of energy and strength to battle life's daily struggles. But God provides his children with strength through a very different and much more effective avenue than the world's.
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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
In last week’s devotional, we found that one way to access renewed strength was through the power of joy. We saw that God loves to use the unusual and unconventional when it comes to strength and power. The art of living a life of supernatural strength is always found in the least expected way. The Kingdom operates with an inside out and upside down mindset compared to the way our world likes to operate (Matthew 20:16). When the world says try harder, God says, surrender all. When the world says, do more, God says, lay it down at my feet. When the world says, it’s all your responsibility, God says, I’ll finish it until completion (Philippians 1:6.) This polar approach to doing life is called grace and grace is power. Grace is defined as the unlimited and unmerited favor of God. We were redeemed by grace and we are called to continue walking out this christian life in the same way we began it. We can rest under his wings of protection and find strength in being restored.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:4)
Grace keeps us going because it reminds us that we could never lose what we didn’t earn to begin with. Grace is freely given with no limitations, stipulations, or expiration date. There is an unlimited storehouse of grace in heaven and when we live a life established and rested upon this free and unmerited gift we will find that strength is a natural result. Energy that would have been wasted on anxiety and worry is redirected when we rest in grace because grace ushers in peace. When our hope is secure on the finished work of Jesus, the result is unshakeable strength in knowing who we are in Christ. We can come before the Lord for any worry or concern, no matter how small it seems, because he is always interested and always available. We can access this grace anytime and anywhere, on a good day or a bad, when we’ve behaved godly or ungodly, because his grace is ever-flowing and always available through Christ’s finish work on the cross.
God’s grace not only sanctifies us, but also empowers us to do all things. It works through us to accomplish everything he has purposed for our life. How do we access this grace? Come boldly and ask.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
It’s easy to become stagnant in yesterday’s grace but Scripture challenges us to grow in it, to continue on it.
Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)
Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God. (Acts 13:43)
Take some time today to meditate on these grace scriptures below…
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus… (2 Timothy 2:1)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)
Questions for Reflection:
Is there any concern, problem, or situation I’m carrying that God has not asked me to?
What thinking keeps me from asking God for more grace? How does that thinking differ from the scriptures above? How might that thinking be draining me of energy and strength I need?
What can I do to challenge myself to grow more in grace?
***Join us for the Northlands Conference, “The Pursuit of Purpose”, as you walk in His calling upon your life: http://northlandschurch.com/events/northlands-conference-2018.
Lord Jesus, you said whatever I need I should ask for. I come boldly before you in confidence because of your great unfailing love for me. I ask for your grace to sustain me through this day. Renew my mind by your word so I can continue to grow in grace. Help me to find strength through the power of your grace on my life. Show me the places where I need to rest and trust in your unmerited favor for me. Amen.