“…we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand… Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:2-5)
Paul writes that God has given us access, by faith, to a quality of grace that makes it possible for us to stand for Christ in this world and live our lives glorifying God. Then he writes we should rejoice in our sufferings, because God sometimes uses suffering to force us to access grace.
There are levels and degrees of suffering we simply cannot endure without the grace of God. When our suffering drives us beyond the limits of any human resources we have within us, these times of severe testing become God’s opportunity to provide and prove grace to us.
A devout hymn writer expressed this truth this way:
“When we come to the end of our store of endurance.
When our strength has failed and the day is half done.
When we have exhausted our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving has only begun.
“His love has no limit. His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite wisdom and mercy
He gives and He gives and He gives yet again.”
[“His Love Has No Limit” by Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)]
Are you willing to let problems you cannot solve and suffering you cannot endure drive you to access God’s amazing grace today?
Dick Woodward, 23 October 2009