2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Why doesn’t God answer all our prayers the way we wish He would? This is a question that humanity has asked down through the ages. Even the Apostle Paul had a request with which God did not comply.
Paul had a problem that gave him great grief. He called it his “thorn in the flesh.” Three times this man of God diligently begged to be relieved of this burden, and all three times he was denied. God’s response to this request was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Though we may not always know the reasons behind God’s “No,” we can be assured that His heart of love is giving what is best and his inexhaustible grace can supply what we need to endure. Paul had experienced great supernatural revelations. This great privilege could have tempted him to become conceited. The “thorn in the flesh” he endured served to focus his eyes on Christ and highlight the true power behind his success in ministry. It was not about the wisdom or talent of Paul, but about the power and grace of God. That is why Paul could delight in his weaknesses. He realized that when he was weak he was truly strong.
Recently, I came across a poem penned by a dear woman of God. As you read the words you will discover her strength came from the same place as Paul’s.
Annie Johnson Flint endured much emotional and physical pain throughout her life, yet her trials taught her to lean on God. No matter how difficult her experiences, His grace was always greater. He did not choose to remove her pain, but provided for all her needs and gave her a powerful voice through poetry to encourage and strengthen others. Though Annie Johnson Flint has long since gone home to be with the Lord her comforting words still speak today.
With gnarled hands crippled from arthritis, this dear lady grasped a pen and scribbled words learned from her personal pain.
HE GIVETH MORE GRACE
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
Annie may not have ever known why she was asked to endure such excruciating physical pain, but she had learned the lesson that we all must learn. When God says “No,” it is from a heart of love and He gives us the grace we need to endure. For we, like the Apostle Paul and Annie Flint Johnson, can experience the power of God despite our circumstances. For when we are weak He is strong.
Click here to read more of Annie Johnson Flint’s biography and enjoy more of her poems.