Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
This month I want to help us prepare for Christmas by reflecting on God’s Grace. If you want an overview of what I’m trying to accomplish, read the first post in this blog series called A Month To Remember God’s Grace.
Below is the reflection for today.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-17
Paul is a trophy of grace. He was a proud, self-righteous, murderer before he met Jesus and he had a host of personal struggles after being saved by Jesus. In the midst of all the difficulty in his life Paul refused to give up or give in. Why? He had received grace and it gave him perseverance and perspective.
Paul knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s grace was sufficient to face whatever life threw at him. He may get struck down but God would never say “I don’t have the resources to help.” He may be in need, but God would never say, “Stop asking so much! My grace is running out.” Additionally Paul knew that his trials were passing things. Grace was bringing a new day. So in the face of difficulty Paul had buoyancy. He was unsinkable because God’s grace had brought him safe thus far and grace would lead him home.
What trials and hardships did you face this last year? How did God’s grace bring you perseverance and perspective? What do are you facing this Christmas? How can God’s grace help you today?