9a And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
The Lord’s grace is always sufficient for His people. The Lord Himself has declared it! It was to the apostle Paul, who was afflicted with “a thorn in the flesh”, that the Lord promised: “My grace is sufficient for thee”.
Being an ardent labourer in the Lord’s vineyard, it must have been tough for Paul to carry out his tasks while being constantly afflicted. So he prayed thrice that his affliction might depart from him. Paul’s prayer was not answered in his way but in God’s own way, through the provision of His grace, which would be sufficient to aid him in his affliction.
Whatever the Lord’s grace provides will be sufficient for us to go through our trials. What our minds would demand or what our hearts would desire may not be best for us. So often we look for God’s miraculous deliverance from our trials, though such expectations may not be what God has planned for us. Nevertheless, God always has in mind what is best for us, and He will guide us with all that His grace provides. It is important that troubled Christians learn to use what God’s grace has already provided in their lives, to go through their trials. Instead of asking in vain for the “thorn” to be removed, they should accept the aid of His grace to live victoriously. The Lord’s answer, “My grace is sufficient for thee”, was an instruction to pay attention to God’s grace that was already with them.
It was important that “the thorn” continued in Paul’s life, for “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” (v. 7). His affliction was to accomplish a preventive purpose in his life. It was not the removal of “the thorn” that was needed, but rather its presence, in order to prevent him from being prideful. However, knowing the difficulties it would cause, God also provided sufficient grace. This understanding of the purpose of his trial and the provision of God’s sufficient grace encouraged Paul. So he joyfully said, “for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Divine grace is sufficient to supply strength to withstand our trials. It will enable His servants to serve effectively unto God’s glory. Whenever the Lord subjects his servants to unusual suffering, He gives them superior strength by the provision of His grace.