I've been reading Jerry Bridges' excellent book, Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love. If you were to ask me, what is the key to understanding the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, I might answer with this single word, grace. The life in Christ is the discovery of God's inexhaustible supply of unmerited favor, in the form both of forgiveness, which we always need, and enabling.
It is this concept, enabling grace, that has been drawing me of late. Here the definition of grace merges with that of divine equipping. God gives us what we need to be his ambassadors, his bond-slaves, in the place we find ourselves. He gives that which we need, to overcome adversity; to grow strong, to grow rooted; indeed, to grow in grace.
I think perhaps I'll have more to say about this matter in the next few days, but for now I will leave you with a word from Isaiah 41:14-15, and then a brief comment from Bridges.
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob,And now Bridges (p. 163):
O little Israel,
for I myself will help you," declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
"See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and reduce the hills to chaff.
This is a picture of the grace of God at work: a weak and helpless object overcoming disproportionate obstacles by strength derived from another. God makes us weak, or rather he allows us to become painfully conscious of our weakness, in order to make us strong with His strength.