His Grace is Sufficient

When the apostle Paul quotes Jesus about His grace being sufficient, I never quite realized what that meant.

I , like so many others, came from a church background that communicated that our behavior was the determining factor in whether or not we would have eternal life or damnation.

Because of this, I have struggled to understand what grace looks and feels like.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about God’s grace and the meaning behind 2 Corinthians 12:9 — because to be honest His grace hasn’t always felt sufficient to me.

My Misunderstanding 

I initially took this verse to mean that God’s grace is good enough to help us when we’re struggling.

And, in a way, it does mean that.

But in a much bigger way, it means that His grace, love for us, forgiving nature, patience, and concern for us is bigger than any behavioral challenge we could ever face.

When we are beating ourselves up because we can’t get it right, we can rest assured that His grace is sufficient.

Our Thorns and Messengers

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul writes, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

He goes on to describe how he begged the Lord (three times) to remove this problem.

Like Paul, so many of us contend with thorns and messengers of Satan. In fact, we all do—as Christians, spiritual warfare is a fact of life. Our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health are all fair game in the battles we fight.

As humans, imperfection and mistakes are a reality.

No matter the area, the ripple effects reach across each aspect of our lives, producing in us thoughts and behaviors that do not align with the Spirit or Word of God.

What I love about this passage is that Paul looked to God, rather than himself or the world.

Despite his prayers not being answered with the outcome he wanted—he accepted grace. It was sufficient.

The Problem with Behavior-based Christianity

It saddens me when people live by what I call behavior based Christianity. It’s almost as if they feel that they have to get everything right—or else.

Unfortunately, in many cases they also maintain this expectation for others.

In one of my weakest, darkest moments, I had a well-meaning lady from one of my Bible studies tell me that I had put a chasm between myself and God.

In that moment, whatever chasm there was grew deeper.

I walked away from that lunch date feeling even more deplorable and further from God than I could have imagined.

She reinforced my belief , with that statement, that I (my behavior) was disqualify me from a relationship with God. 

I wish I could go back and let her know that God overlooked that chasm when He sent His son to shed His blood for us. 

No matter how far gone I was or felt, His grace was sufficient.

list of times when his grace doesn't feel sufficient.
<mark style="background-color:rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)" class="has-inline-color has-black-color">Char Aukland </mark>
Char Aukland

Hi! I’m Char Aukland…Christian, wife, homeschool mom, and U.S. Army veteran.

A love for Christ, sharing the Gospel, and experience from my personal struggles fuel my writing.

Additionally, I am the author of Life’s a Trip, a lifestyle workbook that takes an inside out approach to inner and outer weight loss.