Diamonds are admired for their beauty and brilliance, but diamonds are only formed by immense pressure in a dark environment. We all want the diamond, but we don’t want to go through the process that builds the diamond. Yet from God’s point of view, that process is one of the ways we experience God’s grace.
Oftentimes we seek to provide our own understanding of what “grace” is in our lives by attempting to provide only that which God can supply. Grace is God’s work in our lives. We receive the benefits when we choose to surrender to His plan and cooperate with His provision of grace to us and through us. To receive grace requires trust. It requires letting go of our perception of personal control. But when you do, you will discover that God’s grace gives you life, strength, power, and peace.
“Because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded to the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
When grace gets mixed with pain, Paul says it produces power.” Pain in and of itself does not produce power. In fact, when pain is not mixed with grace or surrender to God’s will, it can produce even greater pain.
Paul tells us that God’s power is perfected when we are weak. And yet our culture teaches us that only the strong survive. Satan tries to deceive us by pushing a different agenda that keeps us working and striving rather than embracing our weakness and the grace that comes with it.
Excerpted from Hope for the Hurting. Published by Lifeway Press®. © 2021 Tony Evans.