(By Rachel Joyce)
Good morning, my friends. It has been a challenging week and although my heart is eager to worship my Lord today, the words feel just beyond my grasp. The ones I’m able to reach feel like they fall flat. And flat is something I know well, having spent so much of my time on my little mat trying to build back after yet another flare-up. Many of you deal with chronic pain and you know exactly how your heart sinks when your body gives out on you and you’re out for the count for a few days, a week, or longer. You know the sorrow of daily physical pain and you’ve experienced the battle of trying to hold onto joy and hope in the face of suffering’s seemingly endless cycle. We are whole people, so when we suffer physically, it does impact our emotional life, our spiritual life…all of us. Thankfully, we have Jesus. And sometimes, clinging to Him is all we are able to do.
Here is a verse that has been holding me all week long: “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich” (2 Co 8:9). I’ve been trying to grasp it, to wrap my soul around these life-giving words. This is what I’ve enjoyed from looking at it in its original text (the Greek).
You know—this is knowing absolutely; it includes perceiving, feeling, and being resolved. (Know comes from the Strongs’ word G1097 γινώσκω ginōskō.)
The grace—this word, meaning grace, is found 156 times in our New Testament. If God put it in there that many times, He probably wants us to sit up and take notice; grace is important to Him and it’s essential for us. Thayer defines it as that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness; loving-kindness, favor. It is the “merciful kindness” which God extends to us. Through grace He saves, strengthens, upholds, and enables us to live for His glory. Only through His grace, can we thrive. It’s all about grace. (Grace comes from the Strongs’ word G5485 χάρις charis.)
He was rich—our minds cannot begin to comprehend the wealth of our Lord, the owner and sustainer of all, who lived in the dazzling splendor of heaven where He was worshipped by all.
Yet for us, because of us, He chose to become poor. He traded the gleaming, golden streets for dusty, dirt roads, a lofty throne for a rugged cross, and the praises of angels for the mockery of men. He loved us, wanted us, and gave everything for us, so we could be His. Now we know true riches—the wealth of God’s favor, the resources of grace, the delight and satisfaction of God’s presence forever. Even when life is difficult and words elude us, we have the Living Word with us and within us, sustaining us and enabling us to endure until we see Him face to face.
Lord Jesus, how could You love us so? How could you consider us worth it to give up so much? We bow before You in joy and gratitude. You are worthy of all our praise, all our worship, all we have.