1 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
vs 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
The body produces a glucostersteroid hormone known as cortisol in the event of stress, and this hormone enables your body to deal with that stress, providing extra energy to your muscles to adapt to the situation you are faced with. It is like grace provided in our weakness because without cortisol, you would have no strength for the task. Your body would tap into your adrenals which provide adrenalin, often called epinephrine, which is meant for short-term only, and causes the blood to pump, the heart to race, the palms to sweat, and provides a shot of intense energy and stimulation.
The body is not meant to produce a constant supply of cortisol, nor adrenalin. Cortisol output should wax and wane, producing a sufficient amount when energy is needed, but becoming the lowest when rest is necessary.
In our fast-paced busy lifestyles, sadly, more people are using up cortisol and becoming burnt-out. They have run on empty and have no more to give. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease and a host of other metabolic and cardio conditions surface.
If grace is like cortisol, then adrenaline is like the gift of faith, that supernatural energy that kicks in when you need to act quickly in times of emergency; such as lifting a car that rolled onto a body. But that adrenaline, which causes our hearts to race in order to get the job at hand done, was never meant to be in overdrive. It will cause a breakdown in our body.
I see cortisol as God’s grace upon my body; helping me in times of my weakness when I need to get a job done and cannot do it alone. Grace is a literal substance that is washed over me to provide energy and strength. Grace is always in operation but sometimes more is necessary, and sometimes I need greater grace (pictured as adrenalin) to accomplish something completely impossible. It is only for the moment.
Grace is an enablement. The free dictionary defines enablement as:
1.a. To supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity (to do something); make able: a hole in the fence that enabled us to watch; techniques that enable surgeons to repair the heart.
4. To behave in a manner that facilitates or supports (another’s abusive, addictive, or self-destructive behavior).
The Greek word for grace is “charis” and according to Strong’s concordance also means favor and kindness.
So God’s grace is favor and kindness and this favor and kindness is a divine enablement provided in your weakness, in order to give you energy and strength for the task at hand.
When He tells you “My grace is sufficient” He is not saying He will not give you what you ask because His grace is all you need. He is telling you to look at His grace as the answer to accomplishing what you need.
I have arthritis (diagnosed significant arthritis) in my feet, yet I have to be on my feet for at least 5 hours a day. The pain feels bone-crushing. I woke up yesterday with so much pain and I cried out to God to heal me.
“I want to be healed. You didn’t bring me this far to drop me here.”
“My grace is sufficient for you.”
Is He telling me “No? I won’t heal you? Deal with it and I will give you grace to endure it?” No. I was able to function without pain all day yesterday. His grace washed over me and I was at my best.
I want to be healed of this because it interferes with my function. He is providing what I need for the moment and teaching me how to rely upon His grace for function. As I rely upon His grace for my function in order to accomplish tasks that are impossible for me, my body is healing.
He is telling me that His grace IS the mechanism of healing. His grace is like cool water on inflammed joints. His grace is a refreshing breeze on a hot, summer day. He didn’t say He would not heal me. He said “My grace (my enablements; my strength in your weakness, my power in your fraility) is sufficient (enough to meet the need or purpose at this time).
So, each day as I wake up with pain, I look to the Lord. “Your grace is sufficient to get me through the day. Let Your grace wash over my feet so that I may do the job You called me to.”
Each day, His grace washes over me, enabling me to do the job I am called to do. This is the manifestation of His healing. I know His word says I am healed but it is His grace that allows me to function without pain.
His grace is SUFFICIENT. That does not mean when you ask for a fish He will give you a stone. He is providing healing (or whatever it is you need) by means of His grace.