Valleys, Furnaces, & Pits Part II: Contentment in God’s Sufficient Grace

Are you dealing with trials in your life? The trial of living with chronic, debilitating pain, has been life-altering. Honestly, I have frequently found myself to be discouraged, frustrated, and confused. At times I have been discontent and unhappy with the whole painful thing, but…

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Recently a couple of verses have softened my heart and changed my attitude. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Paul is writing about some revelations shown to him and that, in order to keep him from becoming conceited about knowing those things, God put a thorn in his side, a messenger of Satan to buffet him. After Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove the thorn in his side, the Lord responded and said My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. God’s grace was all Paul needed in his infirmaties and trials. God didnt remove the trials, instead he comforted and encourage him by reminding him that in His grace alone, Paul would find contentment in the midst of his trials. That was enough for Paul.

The question for me and perhaps for you is simple…can God’s grace be sufficient in the midst of life changing trials?

Paul’s response has humbled and encouraged me. He writes “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The words gladly and pleasure just jump off the page for me. There is true joy to be found in the midst of my trials. Whether in the valley, the furnace, or the pit, in those places in my life when I am weak, it is there and at every other turn, that the matchless grace of God is demonstrated and realized. This world teaches self-sufficiency in all things. For Christ’s sake, I need to remember and live the truth that there is true contentment in the all-sufficient grace of God. The trials in my life are a gift from God and in them, His grace is gloriously demonstrated.

In the hymn God of Grace, Keith Getty and Jonathan Rea wrote these practical, liveable words:

God of grace, I trust in Jesus; I’m accepted as His own.
Every day His grace sustains me, As I lean on Him alone.


Hanging in the Balance

Sometimes it can seem like the challenges in your life are so heavy and you are standing on a branch that is just too small.   It feels like your whole life is hanging in the balance.  If you move forward you have to let go of something.  If you stay where you are…well, you can only do that for just so long before something is going to force you off that branch.  Sooner or later something has to change.

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Whatever the situation, seriously WHATEVER it is, God is bigger, he is trustworthy, and he loves you.  Psalm 147:3-5 gives us this assurance and truth:

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”

So when that branch seems just a bit too small or the weight of the world seems too much, remember that the same God that raised Jesus from the grave, is the same God that understands your situation better than you can possibly fathom, is more powerful than anything in this world, and he most certainly can help you, especially when it seems that your life is hanging in the balance.