Summary: God’s grace is sufficient for you to move on.
Good morning brother and sisters in Christ, thank God for giving me this opportunity to preach to you. Today the topic of my sermon is SPA. Have you ever been to SPA pool in your vacation? Is it a nice place to rest, to relax and to relieve you from stress?
Today I will introduce to you a new SPA. You are not required to pay even a single cent for this SPA. You can go to there any time you need. It opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Do you want to know how to go there? The map is in the Bible.
Let’s turn to 2 Corinthians 12: 9. Let us read together. “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
This is the SPA I mean, the spiritual SPA formula God provides for us. The SPA formula is an acronym. The first letter S stands for sufficient grace in our God. This is what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12: 9a: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’”
The word grace in original text means generous gift. And the word sufficient means to be possessed with unfailing strength, to be enough. God’s grace is sufficient for you means God gives you generously His unfailing strength for you to persevere with your weakness. God’s grace is abundant, and He is generous that He is willing to give His grace abundantly to you. But every time He only gives you grace that sufficient or enough for you to use. Not less and not more, just enough.
Here is a good example to illustrate God’s abundant grace that sufficient to us. “A large sum of money was given to [a man named] Rowland Hill to dispense to a poor pastor. Thinking that the amount was too much to send all at once, Hill forwarded just a portion along with a note that said simply, ‘More to follow.’ In a few days the man received another envelope containing the same amount and with the same message, ‘More to follow.’ At regular intervals, there came a third, and a fourth. In fact, they continued, along with those cheering words, until the entire sum had been received.”
See, God has abundant grace, but He only gives you sufficient grace that enough for you to use. He wants you to know He has more grace to follow. What you have to do is just rely on Him totally. He will give you generously His grace enough for you to use every time you need it.
Why does God only dispense sufficient grace to us every time we need it? Why doesn’t He give us all His grace at one time to solve our problems at all? Let Paul answer you. In verses 7 and 8, Paul said, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.”
Paul asked God to remove the thorn in his flesh. But from verse 9 we know God did not do so. Why? As Paul said, God allowed this thorn to remain in his flesh is to keep him from becoming conceited. Today God only gives you sufficient grace, because He wants to keep you humble, to keep you relying on Him totally. If God gives you all His grace at one time and your problem is solved at all, you may become very proud and forget about God.
From verse 7 we know Paul had a thorn in his flesh. And from verse 9 we know this thorn is his weakness. What is Paul’s weakness or the thorn in his flesh? No one knows exactly what Paul’s thorn is. Some people said it was medical problem such as earaches, headaches, acute eye problem or reoccurring attacks of malaria. Some people suggested it was lustful desires that bound Paul. Some said it was his stammering speech, that is, difficulty in speech. Also some suggested that, since Paul wrote 2 Corinthians to defend his apostleship, then this thorn refers to persecutions and oppositions from Corinthians.
We can’t know exactly what Paul’s thorn is, because he did no tell us. He did not tell us what his thorn is, because this is not his purpose here. His purpose here was to tell us that God’s grace was sufficient for him in his weakness. He wanted to tell us that although God did not answer his prayer and take away his thorn, God had given him sufficient grace.