The Grace of God
The grace of God is one of the expressions of the goodness of God. Grace is God's favor on people whether they deserve it or not. When Paul had what he called a "thorn in the flesh," and he asked God to take it away, God said, "My grace is sufficient for you for My power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9a)." I've pondered the meaning of this verse many times. Sometimes I see God's grace at work, and I think, "Okay, I get it! That was grace that just happened." Other times I find I want something and when I don't get it, I go about getting what I want my own way and never stop to consider that God may want to show me grace. It usually lands me in trouble, or I hurt someone else I care about.
My pastor says, "God is present in the present and will give you the grace you need for today, but not the grace you will need for tomorrow." And I have written on my mirror something Sarah Young wrote in Jesus Calling. Jesus says, "Stay in the present where I am." If we learn to live in the present and not worry about those things we can't control or can't know, we will be in an excellent position to recognize the grace that God so freely gives. But we often miss it because we put our focus on tomorrow or on our problem that we think we must solve on our own. We never stop to look for God's grace.
Sometimes God shows up, and you realize there was no way you could have gone through that thing you went through without His grace. That was the only way I can explain how I responded when my mom passed away. I was sad, but at peace. It was a peace that passed all understanding as I knew with all my heart my mom was with Jesus and at His feet worshiping. She talked about it often, and I knew she was where she longed to be.
In my depression, God often prompted me to read the Bible, and I always refused. I felt like I knew everything it had to say. But two of the first things that changed after receiving freedom was a deep awareness of how much God loved me and a hunger to read the Word of God. Now that's grace. And I can say with certainty that I am not even close to knowing all that the Bible has to say!
It's good to think about the ways God has shown His grace to you in the past so that you will know personally the God is a God who gives you grace. You will also set yourself up to more easily recognize it when He shows it to you in the future and on a daily basis. And if like Paul, He gives you the grace to deal more easily with your "thorn in the flesh" rather than giving you what you are asking Him for, you too will be able to say, "I will boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me (2 Cor. 12:9b)."
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 BSB
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. And He
said to me, "My grace suffices you, for the power is perfected in weakness." Therefore will I boast rather most gladly in my
weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 BSB