Sufficient Grace

Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? 2 Corinthians 11:28–29

When have you used the phrase “besides everything else” in a conversation about an additional task or responsibility placed on your shoulders? In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he listed the numerous hardships he had endured as a missionary—beatings, imprisonment, and shipwrecks, hunger, and verbal attacks. He then said, “Besides everything else …” and mentioned his daily responsibilities.

Maybe you identify with Paul. You’re juggling home and work responsibilities as you attempt to fight your way through a personal crisis—health issues, an LGBTQ+ loved one, or marital strife. You may have cried out to God, “How do you expect me to handle this on top of everything else?”

I’ve been in that fight, and I’ve asked God that question. Feeling overwhelmed is a natural response to adversity. But God has provided a way for us to avoid the pits of despair, frustration, or self-pity and step forward with hope. We hand our heavy load to Him. 

Here’s what Paul said in a “besides everything else” conversation with God about a physical ailment: “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 12:9).

What does “power made perfect in weakness” mean? The Amplified Bible explains the phrase this way: God’s power “is completed and shows itself most effectively” in our weakness. When we’re so worn out that we can’t take another step, we’re much more willing to let God help us. Sometimes that’s why He allows us to face “besides everything else” situations—so His power can be most effective in our lives.

How many concerns, responsibilities, and hardships are you trying to juggle by yourself? Get alone with God and ask Him, as Paul did, to take some of them away. But be prepared for God to answer you with “My grace is sufficient” right now. Sufficient grace means that God will give you the strength, wisdom, and answers you need to take one more step, then the next, then the next. If you keep stepping, His power will keep supplying the energy and desire to move forward.

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