“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)
Several years ago someone in our community gave me a book titled In The Grip of Grace by Max Lucado. It is particularly helpful when going through dire straits, death, business failures, etc. It can also be a tool for you when you’re consoling someone in their distress. We can all learn that we’re in the grip of God’s grace — all of the time. Without that, none of us would stand a chance.
God’s grace is what you and I need more than anything else. Without it we are nothing, but because of God’s grace we can face whatever comes our way. That’s what the Lord himself tells the apostle Paul. Paul lived with what he called “a thorn in [his] flesh, a messenger of Satan,” that was tormenting him. He kept asking the Lord to remove that thorn. God’s answer was no, saying that his grace would be enough. No matter what, God would keep Paul in the grip of his grace, and Paul would be able to carry out the work God had in mind for him.
That’s our assurance in this new year too: Come what may, God will hold on to us and keep us in the grip of his grace. All we need to do is turn to Jesus to receive his grace.
Father in heaven, we thank you for your promise to hold on to us always. Please keep us in the grip of your grace. Amen.