Three Kinds of Grace – Strengthening Grace
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A New Testament grace the church is somewhat familiar with, but certainly not fully cognizant of, is Strengthening Grace. This grace is the power of God and of the Lord Jesus available to All Believers by which they can be fortified in their inner man, helped in times of need, and basically, inwardly enabled by God’s might to “do all things.” Strengthening Grace is part and parcel of the New Testament and is one aspect of the “exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” that Paul prayed believers would be enlightened concerning and know [Ephesians 1:16-20].
The apostle Paul received a life changing revelation of this Strengthening Grace from Jesus Himself. In the midst of great hardship, Jesus revealed to him this mighty available power that was sufficient for every temptation, circumstance, demonic buffeting, and heavenly assignment. “My grace is sufficient,” Jesus told Paul, “for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus referred to His grace as sufficient strength in times of weakness. Paul referred to this grace as “the power of Christ resting upon [him]” [II Cor. 12:9].
Paul’s revelation of Strengthening Grace produced such a revolution in his life that he began to rejoice in his tests and trials. He said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” [II Cor. 12:10]. Writing to the Philippians, he declared, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” [Phil. 4:13]. In another place, he testified that in the midst of great trouble, crushing pressure, and beyond-strength difficulties, he lived by grace [II Cor. 1:8-12]. Paul informed Timothy that at his first trial, the Lord stood with him and strengthened him [II Tim. 4:17].
Strengthening Grace is not God’s power that changes circumstances. It is not God’s power that heals bodies. It is not God’s power that fixes relationships. It is not God’s power that calms the storm. It is not God’s power that protects from external danger. Yes, all these things are manifestations of God’s power, but they are not described by the word Grace.
Strengthening Grace is the power of God which He delivers to believers’ Inner Man which makes them, as Paul said, “Ready for anything and Equal to anything that comes through Him who infuses me with inner strength [Phil 4:13 Amp]. It is the INfusion of God’s might which makes believers mighty and, therefore, able to do mighty things. A Divine Saline Solution from a Divine Source, Strengthening Grace become the internal strength of believers; an Enabling Ability; a continuous surge of Heavenly Adrenaline which makes believers ABLE to overcome, to resist, to continue, to self-govern, to run, to walk, to work, and to NEVER fall! “Now unto Him who is able to keep us from falling” [Jude 24].
Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would know “the excceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” [Eph. 1:19]. He prayed specifically that they would “be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” [Eph 3:16]. He prayed for the Colossians to be “filled with the knowledge of His will” so they would be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” [Col 1:11].
Paul exhorted Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” [II Tim 2:1]. He exhorted the Ephesian believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” [Eph 6:10]. Cleary, it is NOT God’s will for believers to be weak, but to be strong. One of the most significant ways God assists believers in being strong in the inner man is by making available to them His Strengthening Grace.
By Strengthening Grace, believers are in-fused with God’s might so that they can prevail in tests, trials, and temptations [Js. 4:4-7]. They are enabled to be longsuffering with difficult people [Col. 1:11] and empowered to deal with demonic afflictions [I Pet. 5:6-10]. They are fortified internally and made strong in the Lord and in the power of His might [Eph. 6:10; II Tim. 2:1]. They are strengthened with might by God’s Spirit in their inner man [Eph 3:16; II Cor 4:16]. Grace is supernatural internal help in a time of need [Heb. 4:16]. Hearts can be established by this grace [Heb. 13:9] and by this grace, believers stand [Rom. 5:2].
Both Peter and James, writing to believers, revealed that “God gives grace to the humble” [I Pet 5:5; James 4:6]. Strengthening Grace is not Automatic; it is Available. It is like a stored commodity; stored in God and in Christ, but available as Jesus said to Paul, “My grace is…for you.” In order for believers to receive Available, Strengthening Grace, they need to “submit yourselves, therefore, unto God.”
To receive Strengthening Grace, believers must wait upon the Lord, come boldly to the throne of grace, humble themselves under God’s mighty hand, submit themselves to God, and partake at the altar of grace [Is. 40:29-31; Heb. 4:16; I Pet. 5:6; Js. 4:6-7; Heb. 13:9-10].