I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:
TO BESTOW GRACE ON US
II Corinthians 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
We have salvation because of Grace. Everything we have in salvation is because of Grace. If you’ll notice in verse one that Grace was bestowed on. That means that Grace was given to. That’s what Grace means. Grace is always given, or it is not Grace. If I work a job and receive a paycheck, the paycheck is not Grace because I worked for it. But if someone comes up and gives me a check and I did nothing for it, then that is “gracious” of them. It means they gave me something that I did not deserve. Grace means we get something we do not deserve and that we did not earn. In this chapter, we see what the Grace of God can supply in the Christians life.
In verse two, we see that the Grace of God can supply joy in the life of a believer. In fact, not just joy is possible, but abundant joy. Joy is part of God’s Grace. We do not deserve to be able to have real “joy” because of our sinful flesh. Sin does not bring joy, sin brings sadness. Sin brings death. But God has offered us life more abundant. That is the Grace of God, manifested in “joy”.
I see in this verse that these believers were able, through God’s Grace, to have joy in their PROBLEMS. The verse says they were in a “great trial”. It may be that you are in a “great trial” as you read this. Trials really attack our minds. We will think of everything negative about the situation, and we will also think of everything that could happen that is negative. We will be discouraged by what is, and by what could be, even though it hasn’t happened yet. It is difficult to have joy when we are like this, but we are told that these believers did.
We also see that these believers had joy in the midst of PAIN. The verse says that it was a “trial of affliction”. This was something that hurt. Finding out you have diverticulitis is a trial. Finding out you have cancer is a trial of affliction. You understand the difference. These folks were going through major difficulties and trials, and yet they still had abundant joy. I have met people in my life that are like this, and they always amaze me. It seems they have every reason to lose their joy, and yet they find every reason to keep their joy. That is quite a testimony to God’s Grace, and it is available to each of God’s children. Do you still have joy in the midst of pain? As a Christian, if we do not, then there is a question we could ask ourselves. Why not?
Last, we see that they had joy in the midst of their poverty. This verse says, “their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality”. Wow! They had joy in the midst of their problems, and they had generosity, in the midst of their poverty. It could be that we could honestly say that they had something that we don’t. The problem is, what they had through Christ, is something that each of us have access to. I encourage you who know Christ today, find joy in the midst of your problems, and show generosity in the midst of your poverty. Let’s stop complaining about our pain and problems. Let’s stop groaning about our perceived poverty. Let’s stop centering on what we do not have or what we are going through. Let’s display the joy of the Lord. His Grace has made it available.