Have you ever been through a trial? I don't mean literally, like when you go to court. I mean the kind of trials God allows in order to test your faith.
During my quiet time the other day, this verse popped out at me:
And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability...2 Cor 8:1-2
The words severe trial and extreme poverty, caught my eye because it's connected to overflowing joy.
The last thing I feel when undergoing a severe trial is overflowing joy. But the Macedonians had so much, that it overflowed the boundaries of the normal human standard.
In order to understand more, I looked up certain words in Biblical Greek and found the key. The source of that joy was God's grace. Because of his grace, or in this case, favor, the Macedonians were able to go above and beyond their own abilities.
The Dictionary of New Testament Theology says this, "Human weakness, not self-determination, is its sphere of activity. The grace of God makes the new self what he or she is."
Did you get that? Our weakness is the sphere in which God's grace overflows.
Dear Father, Today I thank you for weakness. May your gift of grace cause us to overflow in all of our trials, in every way.