“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.”
We sang this song last night in church and I for one am beginning to grasp what it means to “have exhausted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed ere the day is half done, when we (have) reached the end of our hoarded resources.” The truth is I am exhausted, having little resources and strength left. Like Paul, I have prayed many times that He take the pressure off, and He has responded each time, “Be Still for ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’” (Ps 46:10; 2 Cor 12:9)
I know who God is and what He is capable of doing, I have no problem believing any of that, but honestly, I am still worn down and exhausted, and if you have been here you know how hard it is to see past the circumstances that weigh you down. In light of this, it was the next lyric in the song that caught my attention, “Our Father’s full giving is only begun.” Our circumstances tend to act as a barrier to our seeing the vastness of our God’s resources. If it were not for the knowledge I have from abiding in His Word and the experience of God’s previous work in my life, it would be easy to give up at this point of exhaustion and limited view. The songwriter goes on to say, “Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will up-bear.” You see the words of hope offered here? How about the place we are invited to by our God? His Word time and again invites us to ‘lean hard on His everlasting arm’, and “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Math 11:28). His rest is consistent with His every offer of a refuge, a place to abide and find strength, hope, and joy. This place is not some physical location we need to go to, but is found in His ever present Spirit whom we yield to in an instance of humility and repentance; putting off our will and desires and putting on Jesus’ completed works of righteousness.
Peter writes, “To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: ‘Grace and peace’ be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;” Wow, it is His multiplying of grace that makes it so sufficient. But He doesn’t stop there, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2 Peter 1:2-11)
The song writer is correct in ‘that even though my heart is torn’; God is someone I can lean hard on. And in His Spirit, He has provided all that is needed for me ‘to praise Him in the midst of the storm.’ It is true that, “His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.” Even the strength I need to remain faithful to His Word and promises is given by Him, as I abide or rest in His Spirit. I may only see the circumstances that hinder me today, but my God knows the beginning and the end and He is faithful and true to His Word. We will make it through by His sufficient grace because He has promised. I will press on today seeking understanding from God, even if that understanding is “be still, my grace is sufficient”; and by His grace, I will accept His answer and ‘lean hard into Him’. It is only in my exhaustion that I have been able to learn that He is only beginning to reveal the vastness of His giving. But for now, I am content in knowing He will provide what I need for today.
“Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
Think About This: “Get up and face life with courage because, as God’s child, you have not been left to the limits of your own strength and wisdom.” ―