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 may 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.
II Corinthians 12:8-10
“My grace is sufficient.” What could that possibly mean? God was talking to Paul about a grace that began the day he was on the road to Damascus. That day, Jesus appeared to Paul, and he tasted forgiveness and love beyond anything he could ever have imagined. Paul tasted a joy in Christ that was unspeakable and full of glory. It was this grace of God that sustained Paul through all of those horrible days of trial and persecution. The joy of the Lord that Paul found in knowing Christ was bigger and better than anything he had ever experienced before.
All of us get tired of tough times. No one likes to go through dark days. But in the midst of these days, the Lord will come to us. As Paul cried out to the Lord to remove the cause of his suffering, the Lord answered his prayer in the greatest way possible. The Lord Himself came to Paul again. He poured out His grace. This grace is sufficient. This grace will satisfy us. This grace is why we are alive.
There was one day darker than any of the days the disciples, Job, or Paul had ever experienced. It was the day that Jesus died.
Jesus was beaten beyond recognition. As He was punched, spit upon and nailed to the cross, creation itself was effected. The sky grew dark; the sun was eclipsed. The earth itself trembled as earthquakes began to destroy parts of Jerusalem. For the first time, Jesus lost the sense of His Father’s presence, as He cried out,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Have you ever prayed that prayer? All of us have felt forsaken at one time or another, just like Jesus did. But the good news is that when He suffered and died for us on the cross that day, Jesus actually entered our storm. As He entered into the darkest storm of all, as He carried our sins and bore our judgment that day, Jesus made a way for all of us to get through the storms in our own lives. He died so that we could live. Jesus went through His storm so that He could come to us in ours.