In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
Very few of us truly live in our thoughts. Most of us live in our emotions. Though there is an ancient axiom that says, “As you think, so your life shall be,” the majority of us experience life by the axiom, “As you feel about things, so shall your life be.” Our emotional side takes what is plain and simple, factual and objective, and colors it with all sort of shades, from happy pastels to dismal grays. And this is what it means to be human.
If we would experience victory over this tyrant called “our emotions” we must decide to live by thoughts, especially by those thoughts, ideas, and knowledge that come from the Word of God. We must embrace these by faith and stand there. Faith is our victory, according to 1 John 5:4. The grace of God does not change – it is as steady and as eternal as it ever was – it is only our feelings and emotions about things that makes it seem insufficient. In these precious verses in Ephesians we have the promise that God has redeemed us from our sin through the death of Christ and He now lavishes on us His grace. The word “lavished” is a verb, eperisseusen in Greek, it means to be provided for in abundance, or to have a large over supply of some item. For us it means that the grace of Christ is of such a nature, that it exists in such supply that it more than meets whatever is lacking in our hearts and our lives. It not only covers our sins but also our sense of insignificance, our fears, our worries, our struggles.
To Paul, as he suffered with his thorn in the flesh, Christ said, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9), and the word “sufficient” is a translation of some understatement actually. That original word literally means to be possessed of unfailing strength, and it is akin to the idea of the grace of God being lavished on us, poured out abundantly on us. God did not say to Paul, Well, your thorn in the flesh will take a lot of joy out of you life, and you will from this point on only have ‘just enough,’ to get by, ‘just sufficient grace” to endure the storms. God said instead that Paul and that we will have unfailing strength in the midst of our weaknesses and discouragements. It is a description of divine strength that wells up from within the believer through the Spirit of God, and provides for us in our hearts the overflow of His grace even in circumstances that are the opposite of kind and encouraging.
In the desert, in the storm, in the darkness of night, in the blackness of loss, in the sadness of pain, in the midst of our doubts, when facing the angry, when we are misunderstood, when thrown amid the lions, when the darkness of false accusations descends upon us, in times when our emotions all but destroy every vestige of hope and optimism, when darkness blots out the sun, the lavish grace of God is still present. He is still there. And if we will experience the life of overflowing peace and joy, we must learn to stand on His promises. We must learn to reject the message of our unsteady emotions and instead rest upon Him and the promise of His abundant grace.