But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’m not sure I can articulate what I’m trying to say here (now there’s a surprise! . . . oh wait . . . ), and thus the fewer words the better:
The iMonk linked to another brother’s confessional (may not be the right word) post about his use of anti-depressants. This is an interesting, thought-provoking, and sometimes heart-wrenching topic, especially if you have experienced depression among family members, or in your own life.
The question the brother asks is “Is Jesus enough?” The comments thread has been full of grace, and that’s so refreshing. But it got me wondering. Is “Jesus is enough” a Biblical thought?
Wait, don’t go away. Let me explain. I mean, of course we know that Christ is our all-sufficient Savior. But have you ever known anyone who truly needed nothing else but Jesus? In other words, no food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, etc.
I’m not trying to be hyperbolic here. But when we say “Jesus is enough”, what do we mean? Do we mean that we currently need nothing else? If you say that, do you live that way? Is it wrong to have other needs?
Did anyone in the Bible ever say “Jesus is enough”? And here I am asking a genuine question. There may be a time when someone said that. But as I begin thinking through this, I begin wondering if that’s really a Biblical statement.
What Paul said (or rather what God said to Paul) was that God’s grace is sufficient. When we say (or sometimes even sing) “Jesus is enough”, it almost seems that what we’re saying is that we need nothing else, and any material, family, or emotional blessing here on earth is superfluous and somehow unnecessary.
And, on a more cynical note, “Jesus is enough” dances closely to what I call “brag worship”. In this I lump all those songs we sing about how much we love God, how we would run for a thousand years to be closer to Him, how He is all we need and every breath that we breathe is for Him.
Do you see the difference in focus between “Jesus is all I need” and “His grace is sufficient”?
I like “His grace is sufficient” more as a Biblical statement of our dependence on Jesus. Grace works in every aspect of our lives, through the material, familial, emotional, spiritual . . . God’s grace invades the air we breathe and the roads we walk, and it is there in our good times, in our bad times, in the times when we are full and overflowing, and in the times when we are desperately needy for a smile, a listening ear, a meal, a bath, some joy, a friend, money for the rent, a laugh, a cry, some fun, a light in the darkness, some deep thought, a good book, a good word.
I don’t know if I can honestly say “Jesus is enough”, because I’m not even sure I know what that means, and I certainly don’t think I live that way. Jesus is my Savior, without him I am nothing, but with him I can live in the grace that he has given me, abundantly and without measure, enjoying and needing and growing and striving and alive in him.
His grace is sufficient.
I hope this made some sense. Feel free to offer any correction on this thought in the comments section.