How to Receive the Grace to Keep Going through Troubles
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV).
What do you do when you can’t fix an unfixable problem? What do you do when you can’t solve an unsolvable riddle? What do you do when you can’t change an unchangeable circumstance? What do you do when you can’t control something that hurts deeply in your life?
You throw yourself on the sustaining grace of God.
How do you get the kind of grace to keep going in spite of temptations, trials, tension, tiredness, and troubles? You do four things:
- Call out. Cry out for God’s help. When you pretend to be self-sufficient, you short-circuit God’s power in your life. You need to admit your inadequacy and say, “God, I can’t handle this!” The Bible says, “‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.’ So give yourselves completely to God . . . Come near to God, and God will come near to you” (James 4:6-8 NCV).
- Fill your mind with God’s Word. Let God’s Word comfort, strengthen, fill, soothe, and energize you to keep going. Get into it every single day of your life. The psalmist prayed, “I lie in the dust; revive me by your word” (Psalm 119:25 NLT). If the solution were to look within yourself, you’d already be changed. You need to look to God! He’s the only one with sustaining strength.
- Accept support from God’s people. The Bible says by helping each other with our troubles, we obey the law of Christ, which is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” God never meant for you to go through life on your own. Our weaknesses help us realize how much we need each other. You need to accept support from God’s people.
- Hold on to God’s promises. There are at around 5,500 of them in the Bible waiting to be claimed. Here’s one of them: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired . . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV). Keep your hope in the Lord and your eyes focused on the hope of heaven, not just on the here and now.
The Bible says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV).
When you’re going through a problem you can’t fix, don’t give up. Just look up!
Talk It Over
In what situation do you need God’s sustaining grace right now?
Which of God’s promises do you need to claim for that situation?
What godly people in your life can provide the support you need?
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
The Bible says we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. Yet God still loves us — even though we sin and we’re flawed. In fact, God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to cleanse us from our sins, and to bring us into the family of God.
If you’ve never accepted God’s love and invited Jesus into your heart, I want you to have that opportunity now. If the words of this prayer express your heart, then let God know that by praying them as a way of saying, “Me too.”
“Dear God, I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you are for me and that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.
“I confess that I have sinned against you, and I admit I need Jesus as my Savior. I want a relationship with Jesus. I want to follow him and do the things he tells me to do.
“I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups.
“I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and be in your family forever. In your name I pray, amen.”
If you just prayed that prayer, let me know by emailing me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I want to encourage you in your journey with Jesus and send you some free materials to help you take your first steps.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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