“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:24 ESV
I’m currently reading a book by Brene Brown called Dare Greatly. There’s a part in there where she says that abundance it not the opposite of scarcity. They’re simply two sides of the same coin. Instead, she says the opposite of the scarcity mindset is one that believes there is enough. I thought this was interesting, especially in the context of the scripture that says God’s grace is sufficient. What does sufficient mean, and what does it look like in every day life?
The word sufficient means enough or adequate. It means that God’s grace alone, the extension of God’s love and mercy, is enough for me. When we’re reading scriptures like this, we need to include the context of the passage to fully understand what the writer is referring to. In this case, Paul is telling us about God’s answer to one of his question. Paul was given a “thorn in the side”, something to keep him from getting conceited. That’s all we know about it; there are many theories about what that could be, but no one who’s being really honest knows exactly what it is. God’s response to Paul’s weakness is a comforting promise that His grace is sufficient. He also says, “My power is made perfect in your weakness.”
In this context, what can we learn about what it means to have God’s grace be sufficient? Paul wanted to be able to overcome something or avoid something. He wanted to not have to deal with the trouble any longer. God is saying to him, my grace will allow you to continue dealing with your troubles. That’s a whole different way at looking at it. Instead of being sufficient meaning to take away or remove something, we can view it as everything we need to stay focus on him no matter what comes our way. Troubles come, we can deal. Temptation come, we can withstand them. It doesn’t guarantee that we’ll feel good. Paul describes what he’s dealing with as “a messenger of Satan to harass me.” That doesn’t sound like a fun thing. But God knows that it won’t damage Paul and God won’t leave him without. God is enough and His grace is made perfect.
In fact, God’s not only enough, but in this place of trouble and no fun, God is in fact made perfect. This word perfect can also mean completed or accomplished. God in our life is accomplished by allowing His grace into our troubles. This is what it means to have God’s grace be sufficient for us. Not that we use it to better ourselves or our lives, but because we are able to endure and live and know that God is being made alive in us.
In Lamentations 3:24, it says, “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” When talk about portions in regard to dinner, we are referring to the amount of food that is on our plate. It’s how much we get, or our portion. When the Lord is what we get, we are able to hope. When the Lord is what is taking up our thoughts and our time, we have joy and can look forward to tomorrow. Anything else will be insufficient and let us down, sooner or later.