Christ’s Sufficiency for Our Insufficiency Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Christ’s Sufficiency for our Insufficiency Part 2. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 12:1-10.

When we are weak, we are dependent upon the Lord, and it is His strength that makes us strong. When we are weak in ourselves, it is in that moment that His grace and strength is poured into our life, and we become strong people for the Lord.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike with Hope Worth Having, and we are excited that we can be together. Today we are going to be back into 2 Corinthians 12, and we are going to be studying verse 1 -10. I have entitled my message, Christ’s sufficiency for our insufficiency.

I hope that you remember from last week that we were focused on that purpose of what God is doing as we deal with our trials. Today we are going to continue that thought and how God is working in our life and His grace is sufficient for us.

Let’s grab our Bible, let’s grab pen and paper, and let’s get into our study right now. We have to remember several things, that first, that the secret things belong to the Lord. We can’t always explain what or why that God has allowed something or even caused something to be true in our life.

And so we have to say, Lord, we trust You, the secret things belong to You, the Scriptures teach us that, and so we know that in Your infinite wisdom, in Your amazing grace, and that You are for me, that somehow You have a purpose for this, and I’m going to fully trust You.

We don’t get there in a day, we don’t get there in a moment, but through time as our faith becomes established, we begin to accept by faith that God has a purpose. Now also understand that sometimes we can see the purposes of God beforehand.

We can see what God is up to because we know the Scriptures, we know what the Bible teaches, and we can see what God is doing. When we see God, we know what the Bible teaches, and we can see what God is doing.

things that are happening in our nation and our country. We say, what’s happened to a country where right has become wrong and wrong has become right? What has happened to a country that slaughters millions of babies every year?

What happened to this country? And we say, well, we know that God says He will judge sin. He will deal with it. So we see that purpose beforehand, but there are other purposes that we don’t see until after.

Through hindsight, we look back, and we look at our life, and we see that we walk through this valley, or we walk through this time of loneliness, or this suffering, or this difficult person in our life, and we see that God had a purpose.

The Bible tells us to love our enemies, but did you know you can’t love your enemies unless you have enemies? And so God will allow enemies in your life, and He is testing your faith to see if you will obey Him.

See, you don’t get to say, I only want to pick and obey certain Bible verses. I only want to obey certain commands. But God puts people in your life sometimes so that you can obey all of His commands.

And you look back on your life and you say, man, I can see the Lord at work. But hear this, there are some purposes we won’t know till we get to heaven. There are things that happen in our life and things that we see, experience in other people’s lives that we say, how could this happen?

Why should this happen? They seem to be so strong. They seem to be so dedicated to the Lord. Listen to me friends, suffering is not just for those who have departed from the Lord. But the Bible teaches us that it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous.

And you remember that Job that in one moment, in one day that he lost his health, he lost his wealth and he lost all of his children. That in one moment it was all taken away from him. And here’s what his friends concluded.

You must have done something wrong. You remember when the disciples in the Gospel of John chapter nine that they came upon a man who was born with an infirmity, he was born with a handicap. And they said to Jesus, the disciples, who sinned?

Was it his parents or him? And Jesus said, neither. But that God might be glorified. And there are times that God allows suffering in our lives, not because we have done anything wrong or even that we have done anything right, but simply for the purpose that is beyond our understanding, but that it might bring glory to God almighty.

And so as we try to understand these purposes, keep that in mind that we don’t always have the answers and neither do your friends have the answer, but we are just here trying to learn what God has for us.

For the apostle, he had the privilege of understanding the purpose of the thorn and the flesh in the moment that he was dealing with it. And that was to prevent pride in his life. You remember in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 1 that the Apostle said, am I not an apostle?

Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord? Here’s the point is that the Apostle again is speaking these terms, these questions, not that they don’t know the answer, but they do know the answer.

And he is just making the point, listen, I have seen Jesus that qualifies me to be an apostle. One of the qualifications to be an apostle is to have seen Jesus Christ. And we know that in the book of Galatians that Jesus appeared to the apostle for three years in the desert and there equipped and trained him to serve as an apostle to the early church.

But here Paul wants us to know that it is not his desire to become arrogant. And God wants to make sure that he stays humble, and so he wants him to continue to depend upon the Lord, which takes us to the second purpose.

Is that the second reason that the apostle was given this thorn in the flesh was to create dependence upon the Lord. It is so that the apostle would learn to look to him. Look at what we see in verse 8.

When the apostle was dealing with this thorn in the flesh, he was seeking God, and the Bible says three times that he sought God about this matter. And so it is that a part of what God is doing in your life and what he is doing in my life is that he wants us to stay close to him.

And every once in a while, we just kind of start drifting and we start just kind of getting very confident in our own abilities and our own skill sets. And we begin to think, man, look, I can do this and I can do that.

And I really don’t need the Lord. Now we don’t come out and say that, but we feel that we behave like that. And you know what the Lord does? He kind of just reels us in and he allows things in our lives so that we’ll trust him.

So we’ll look to him for the answer so that we will seek him for what we need. Many of you are familiar with the wonderful verse in Proverbs 3, verse 5 and 6. If you’re not, you need to be familiar with it and you need to memorize it in your heart where the Bible teaches us that we are to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not to our own understanding, but to acknowledge Him in all of our ways.

And He will what church? He will direct our paths. And as I’ve taught you many times, the Hebrew word has the idea of straightening out our paths. And we sometimes make a mess of our life and we find everything being all messed up and God has to come in and bring order in the chaos.

He has to straighten up the mess that we have created. And if you’re here today and you find yourself where you’re in great need of God straightening out your life, be assured of this, that as you turn to God and trust in Him and lean not on your own understanding and acknowledge Him in all your ways, He’ll straighten out the mess that you have made.

Now, you know, there’s an old philosophy out there. You made your bed, you lie in it. I’m glad God doesn’t believe in it, amen. I believe that the Lord looks at us and said, man, you have made a mess of your life, but because I love you and because of my grace and my mercy, I’m going to reach out to you when you come to me with a heart of faith and a heart of trust and you believe in me and you turn from the world and you turn from all the sin and the selfishness of this world and you rely on me, I will make your paths straight.

Isn’t it good to know that church? Because we’ve all messed up things, right? You may not have messed up your life, but you messed up the moment. Or you messed up this or that and you made a bad decision and a bad choice and whatever it might be, but hear me.

Not that there aren’t consequences to our choices and decisions, but there is a God in heaven that we can come to and say, Lord, forgive me, I made a mess. I messed up. I got off track. I got distracted.

And I’m asking you to straighten up my myth. And here’s the beautiful thing is that you have a promise that if you will trust him and you’ll acknowledge him and quit trying to figure it out on yourself by leaning on your own understanding, he will straighten out your paths.

Now, the second thing that I want us to learn this morning is that the grace that was sufficient for the apostle is enough for you. Now we come down to verse nine and as through the apostle has beseeched the Lord three times about this matter and he said, Lord, take me out of the mess.

Lord, get this person out of my life. Lord, I don’t want to experience this pain anymore. Jesus’ response is simply this, my grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness. If you’d like to underscore your Bible or maybe you’d like to highlight, if you’d like to study your Bible, you need to have a chance to learn.

have a Bible that you can study. You maybe have a Bible that you read from and maybe a Bible that you study from and you say, wow, that’s a lot, but it’s worth it. But underscore my grace, my strength.

That’s what you need to get out of that verse. My grace, my strength. Grace is God’s goodness to us, though we are undeserving. Nobody deserves the grace of God. Nobody is worthy of the grace of God.

Nobody merits the grace of God. Nobody can come to God and say, I am good enough and perfect enough, and I’ve accomplished enough that I should receive your grace. We know that to be true when it comes to our salvation, but do we know that when it comes to our maturity and our spiritual formation?

Do we understand that, that we are not only saved by grace, for by grace are you saved through faith, that of not of yourselves? It is a gift of God, not of works. Lest any man should what church? You can’t brag before God that you are saved.

You can’t say, look to me, God, what I have done. You should let me into your kingdom. No, friends, it’s not what I’ve done. It’s what Christ has done. That’s why we glory in the cross. Your salvation is not only by grace, but did you know that your living faithful for God is by grace?

Too many Christians are still trying to earn points with God, and they’re still trying to impress God, and they’re still trying to say, Lord, I am worthy of your grace. No, friends, I not only need saving grace, but I need sustaining grace.

And this sustaining grace that I need as I deal with the problems of life, as I deal with the struggles of life is a grace that is imparted unto me, not because I am something special or that somehow I’m better than others, but rather it is a grace that is bestowed upon me as I seek it from God.

A .W. Tozer said this, grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. Underscore the undeserving. Any grace that is shown to you not only in your faith of saving you, but also in sustaining you and helping you to be faithful to God and being able to live for God and being able to endure through the problems of life is truly undeserving and is a blessing from heaven.

And we should acknowledge that and give him praise every day of our life. Now, would you note in this, he says in verse nine, my grace is sufficient. He doesn’t say that my grace was sufficient or my grace will be sufficient or it might be sufficient, but rather it is sufficient.

And that is reminding us that it is the present sufficiency of God. Here’s how the grace of God works in your life. You don’t get the grace of God when you don’t need it. You only get it in the moment.

that you need it. People say how? How did you make it through that trial? How’d you make it through that loss? How did you deal with that grief? In the moment that you’re there is when the present sufficiency of God’s grace is poured out.

Now, you don’t get to store it up. You don’t get to build it up and say, okay, now when I’m in trouble, I’m gonna go back and grab it. It’s just in that moment, as your heart is crying out to God, as your heart is reaching out to God, as your heart is pleading before God Almighty that He shows grace to you and He pours it out upon you.

His grace is sufficient. It is a present sufficiency for the present trials of my life. And I must. hold on to that truth. And as we watch our brothers and sisters walk through trials, our hearts hurt for them, and we struggle and we wonder what and how are they gonna make it?

The greatest thing that we can do is to pray for grace to be sufficient for them. For grace to be sufficient for them. As you know, Terri and I, many years ago, we pastored in Indiana and I served there for 12 years.

And many families that we had the privilege of bringing to Christ and helping them to grow, which is the highlight of our life, obviously. But this week, we learned that one of those families that we ministered to lost their daughter.

And she was a little child and we had the privilege of seeing her come to Christ and baptizing her as a little child. And she was a mother, she had a husband and family, and unfortunately, she had a tragic accident and just died.

And there wasn’t much that they could do for her. And the thing that as Terri and I grieved for the family, the thing that we did, it was just pray and prayed for God’s grace because that’s the only answer.

There’s no good words that I could say, there’s no right words or anything that is gonna somehow help them in this moment except for the grace of God. And that’s why when we see our brothers and sisters suffering and hurting, and even in the unchurch world, we are praying that God’s grace would be poured out upon them.

And that their heart would be drawn to God Almighty because he is the balm of Gilead, he is the one that can heal the hearts and he is the one that can strengthen them. strengthen the hearts to deal with the tragedies of life.

So I encourage us to always be a people who are praying for not only grace for our own trials, but we are praying for grace in other people’s trials. For every present trial in your life, there is present grace that is sufficient.

I want you to note that we talked about this grace, but I want you to see his strength. Here, the response again is not only that my grace is sufficient, but my strength is made perfect in weakness. My strength is made perfect in weakness.

And what I find interesting is the response of the apostle jumped down to verse 10, at the end, he says, when I am weak, then I am strong. Now, how can a man be weak and at the same time be strong? How is that possible?

It is only possible because when we are weak, we are dependent upon the Lord, and it is His strength that makes us strong. When we are weak in ourselves, when we are weak in where we’re at in the moment of life, it is in that moment that His grace and strength is poured into our life, and we become strong people for the Lord.

The weaker we are, the more His strength is manifested in our life. It is the strength of Christ that sustains you. It is the strength of Christ that delivers you. It is in our weakened state that we discover His true source of strength.

The apostle was not bragging to the church of what he had accomplished and achieved. He was not even saying to them, look how wonderful and great I am. You’ve got to believe that I’m legitimate. But what he is saying is, look what I’ve gone through for the cause of Christ.

Look what I’ve suffered for for the cause of Christ. Look what I’ve had to endure for the cause of Christ, and I’m not boasting or bragging about me. I want to brag about the grace of God and the strength of God that helped me through these trials and these problems in my life.

So we back up again and notice again in verse 9, therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities. I would rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. You want to experience the height of the power of Christ in your life?

Then be fully dependent upon Him in the moment of weakness. The moment of weakness. Now get this, the response that Jesus gives him after the apostle seeks him multiple times is not, I’ll get you out of the mess.

It’s not, I’ll get rid of that person that troubles your heart. It’s not that I’ll take away the pain in your life, but rather it’s just the opposite. My grace is enough. God doesn’t always take you out of your problems.

God doesn’t always pull you out of the mess. God doesn’t always say, I’m going to get rid of that difficult person in your life. But what God says is, I’m going to give you the grace and the strength to deal with it.

I’m going to give you the grace and the strength to be able to handle. These difficult people in your life to handle these problems in your life to handle these trials in your life It’s not that you won’t hurt.

It’s not that you won’t cry. It’s not that you won’t be devastated It’s just that his grace keeps showing up in your vulnerability And it keeps showing up in your infirmities and it keeps showing up in your weaknesses The grace and the strength of God keeps manifesting itself and you keep day by day Experiencing the power of Christ because you put one foot in front of the other through the power of Jesus Christ Jesus taught us we’ve been learning on Wednesday night the Lord’s prayer, but my point is simply we’ve been learning and we just finished studying about where Jesus prayed Lord Give us our daily bread Not our monthly bread Lord give us enough for the whole year Lord give us enough for a five -year plan Lord just today I Just need bread for today.

I Just need your grace for today. I need your strength for today. Whatever you have for me. Whatever is upon me I need that The word sufficient that Jesus gives to the apostle is A word that could be translated more than enough More than enough That’s the way God works, isn’t it the Bible tells us that the psalmist said my cup runneth over My cup runneth over doesn’t God always give us more than we need He always does what we seek him and we seek him and he gives us more than enough the apostle Learned from God that it was God’s power that would make him perfect in weakness and the more we as Christians Acknowledge that we are weak the more more evident God’s power is going to be in our life.

That’s why there’s value in weakness. That’s why there’s value in coming to that moment in your life where you say, I cannot do it all. Because that’s when God’s grace steps into your life. When you come to that point where Christ’s power is all that you have.

And what is unique about this is that Christ’s power only rests on His people who are emptied of their self -sufficiency. Our weaknesses become a platform for the strength and the power of Christ. Now the third and final truth that I want you to learn this morning is that our maturity is seen in our response to our trials.

Look again at verse 9. He says, therefore, most gladly I would rather boast in my infirmities. Verse 10, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches and needs and persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then am I what church?

Our maturity is seen in how we respond to our trials. Paul, first of all, accepted it. Paul first accepted his trial. His response was not to argue with the response that Jesus gave him. My grace, my strength, it’s enough for you, it’s perfect.

Paul says, okay, I’d rather boast in my infirmities. You see, a lot of people are still arguing with God. They’re still mad at God. They’re still bitter. They can’t accept what God has allowed or even God has caused.

The key to your maturity is to accept that you are under the sovereign care of God Almighty, that his plan is better than your plan, that his purpose supersede any purpose you have, and that his ways are not your ways, and that his mindset is not your mindset.

His thoughts are not your thoughts, and there comes a time where the believer has to submit to the will of God and has to be willing to say, Lord, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, choosing not to be bitter, but to be better with God, choosing not to be angry with the Lord and mad at Him, but choosing to receive what he has for you.

Paul realized that God wanted only what was best for his life, and his acceptance of the trial helped his maturity to shine forth. How do you respond to trials? How do you respond? Because your response reflects your maturity.

The second thing about this maturity response is you’ll note that Paul not only accepted it, but he rejoiced in the result of his trials. Now again, go back. First hand, I take pleasure. First nine, I would rather boast.

Now Paul’s not getting up every day and saying, man, I’m excited to suffer for God. Paul’s not getting up every day and saying, man, I can’t wait to have to go through a problem with God. But what he is saying is this, that I am rejoicing in the outcome.

Do you see that? I would rather boast in my infirmities that that’s the outcome. The power of Christ might rest upon me. Look at verse 10, as he goes, I take pleasure and he goes through his list. He says, for when I am weak, then am I strong?

You see, the outcome is simply this. That through his trials, he experiences the strength of God. Through his trials, he is experiencing the power of Christ, and he says, I will rejoice. Paul did not rejoice in his trial for sometimes they were difficult, and they brought him to his knees.

But he rejoiced in the end results of his trial. That’s why James taught us in James chapter one, verse two and four, my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect, complete, lacking nothing. Our nation has gone through so much. People’s lives have been turned upside down through all that we’ve been dealing with.

But what if we rejoiced? What if rather than talking about what we don’t like and the changes that we don’t like, we rejoiced in the outcome of God’s work in our own hearts? What if we rejoiced in how God was shaping our hearts and putting more patience in us, and that he was making us more complete, lacking nothing in our spiritual formation, and he was helping us to be more like Jesus through this mess that we find ourselves in?

What if? I tell you, what if more people would come to Christ? More people among the faith would trust God because they see in you a faith in trust that stands out. Whatever you face in life and whatever you’re enduring, you’ll be able to do it.

Your response is a reflection of the maturity, and your meltdown is a reflection of your immature. And so we should desire that God would give us the grace and the strength to rejoice. In our weakened state, we discover our true source of strength, and that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The only way that we can endure suffering is through the power of God. And so today I hope that as you have been learning in this passage, that Christ truly is our sufficiency when we feel so insufficient with the challenges of life, but we are blessed that we can turn to the Lord and we can trust Him.

Hey, I want to make sure you’re checking out our Hopeworth Having podcast. We have a podcast we’re putting out there. It’s on the Open Door Church app. and you can download that from the Play Store, and then you can have access.

Just go to the media section of our app, and you’ll be able to get access to the podcasts and be able to hear different messages that we’re sharing as well. You can go to our YouTube channel that you can use as well, part of our podcast.

So take advantage of all those things. We hope they’re helpful to you and that they’ll encourage you in your journey of faith. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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