Many Christians consider grace as unmerited favor or material blessing. However, if we replace the word “grace” to “unmerited favor” in the Bible, we will realize that it does not work every single time. This is because grace is much more than unmerited favor.
What is grace? Grace is a person! Grace is just Christ Himself! When Christ came, grace came (John 1:17). When Christ became a man, He was full of grace and reality (John 1:14). And in John 1:16 we are told that of His fullness we have received grace upon grace.
Grace as revealed in the New Testament is the very God incarnate who comes to us to be our enjoyment.
So in 2 Cor. 12:9, when the Lord told Paul that He will not remove the thorn from his flesh but rather, His grace is sufficient for him, He wanted Paul to remain in such a suffering to experience Lord Jesus Christ as grace.
This grace became the power which spread like a tent to tabernacle over (some translate as “rest upon”) Paul. Surely this is not an unmerited favor. It is Christ Himself as the life supply to sustain Paul.
Grace is not only experienced during our suffering and trials. In 1 Cor. 15:10 Paul says that he labored more than the others, yet it is not he who labored, but the grace of God which was with him.
Unmerited favor cannot be with a person. Only Christ as grace could be with Paul. In our laboring and serving God, we should simply stop our trying, and let the Christ in us as grace take over.
Grace be with you (2 Tim 4:22). This grace is always with us. He is with us when we are suffering. He is with us when we are serving the Lord. Let us enjoy grace.
Sharing by D. Y. from his enjoyment of the Lord in the training.