Grace & Trials

“Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great deal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.” (II Corinthians 8:1-2)

It should be instructive to us that Paul tells us here that “the grace of God” which was given to the churches in Macedonia was NOT that they didn’t experience trials and difficulties, but rather what they evidenced IN their trials:

Paul wrote that “IN a great ordeal of affliction”, these churches had:

1) “abundance of joy” and
2) “wealth of liberality”.

It was miraculous for these churches to respond in this way, and it was definitely a mark of God’s grace. People often think of God’s gracious gifts as taking the form of the absence of trouble or difficulty, but scripturally His grace often manifests itself by giving unusual, God-given attitudes or abilities in the MIDST of trials.
— The Macedonians had JOY in their trials. That was a miracle in their attitude.
— They also had LIBERALITY in their poverty. That was another miracle, in their actions.

God’s grace was definitely manifested among the Macedonian churches — NOT by keeping them out of trials, but in doing miraculous things in them during their trials that glorified Him.

His grace manifests itself the same way among us today. God may not miraculously keep you out of every trial or difficulty, but if you are His through Jesus Christ, He will give you the grace to respond in remarkable and unexpected ways, and glorify Him.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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