For me, its been a time of trials, difficulties and illness.
About halfway through it I called my pastor. He prayed for me, and I immediately felt better, but he mentioned he didn’t think the trials were something the Lord would take away immediately. Even though it was not what I wanted to hear, He was right. It was only in the last few days that I felt this season of testing coming to a close.
While I was in the midst of this season I prayed repeatedly for grace, not the unmerited-favor grace of Ephesians 2:8, the other kind. Were you aware there is another kind?
The Apostle Paul was one of the most powerful men in the Spirit that ever lived. Through Paul God performed numerous miracles, even raising a girl from the dead. Yet Paul struggled with something so trying he was convinced t it came straight from Satan. (2 Cor. 12:7). Many think it was an embarrassing physical problem, the kind that would turn people off when they saw him. (Paul notes it was given to him to keep him from exalting himself). (2 Cor. 12:7).
Paul prayed repeatedly to the Lord to take it away from him, but the Lord did not take it away. Instead the Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) Paul goes on to say then that he is “well content” with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties for Jesus’ sake because when he is weak, God’s grace works powerfully within him. (2 Cor. 12:10). That’s the kind of grace I’m talking about.
This is the kind of grace I was praying for and often pray for. This kind of grace is not “unmerited favor” or forgiveness of sins. This kind of grace is the supernatural ability to do what you would otherwise not be able to do in your own power. To operate in it is such an experience it can make you content in the worst of circumstances (2 Cor. 12:10), though It’s often most apparent only in retrospect.
Next time you are in a difficult season, if you’ve been praying for God to take the difficulties away and they are still there, try praying for His grace. GS