What is God’s grace? 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us, ” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
We often hear the definition of grace as unmerited favor, which is true. Grace is something that we don’t deserve but that God freely gives us. But what exactly is grace? The best definition I’ve heard is the following: It is the desire and the ability to do his will.
Two common areas of God’s grace that we experience regularly are as follows:
The power to resist temptation to sin. We are unable in our own strength to not sin. Only God can give us the grace to live a holy life. Corey Ten Boom gives us a great example of this in some of her writings. She admits to harboring bitterness toward a prison guard that she had witnessed beating her sister when they were in a Nazi concentration camp. Years later, when she was speaking at an event, that same prison guard, who had apparently gotten saved, came up to her, explained who she was, and asked Corey for forgiveness. Corey knew she could not forgive this guard in her own strength. She reached out her hand to the guard and as she did, God flooded her with a love and forgiveness ONLY GOD can give. What a beautiful example for us! There are times we can not possibly do the right thing without the grace of God.
The power to be able to endure a trial. We see so many examples in the new testament of Paul enduring suffering in prison. He was able to persevere with joy only by God’s grace. To give you a personal example, I experienced God’s grace in a powerful way when my daughter Leah was in the ICU in critical heart failure, her life hung in the balance. She was three months old awaiting her first open heart surgery. We had been at the hospital with her day and night for about ten days. The doctors had recommended we go home and bring her things back to the hospital. (I guess they were not expecting her to ever come home) We were home just a couple of hours when we got a phone call from her cardiologist. He told us to come back to the hospital, she was maxed out on all life support and medication. If she did not respond, there was nothing more they could do. I completely lost it. I started crying and screaming at my husband. I ran into the bathroom, threw myself down on the floor screaming and crying out to God with every ounce of my being saying, “I can’t do this!” with my husband and oldest daughter standing outside the bathroom devastated themselves. As I was crying out to God saying “I can’t do this”, a still, small voice said to me “I know you can’t, but I can”. With that, a peace came over me like never before. I knew at that moment God was in total control and I could rest in Him. What an amazing experience of God’s grace! From that moment on, I was able to do what I had to do, whether Leah lived or died, leaning on a God who loves us unconditionally and knows best!!
Another great scripture verse on grace is found in Ephesians 2:8-9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We are incapable of saving ourselves, we cannot earn it through works or any other means. It is only by God’s grace!
It is when we are the weakest that God shows Himself strong! We can truly do anything God calls us to do, by His grace. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
A great study to do own your own would be to look up all scriptures on grace. You will be blessed!