“To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7, NKJV). Because of the comfort we’re given through God’s grace, it is impossible for any of us to continue grieving our whole lifetime. At some point, we are being healed by the Lord, and we begin to build up a reservoir of God’s grace.
I believe this is what Paul meant when he wrote, “I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:7-8) and then “…you all are partakers with me of grace” (Philippians 1:7).
The apostle is making a profound statement here, one that the apostle Peter takes even further. Peter writes, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). What does it mean to be a good steward, or dispenser, of God’s manifold grace? Am I such a person? Or do I spend my time praying only for my own pain, grief and struggles?
God’s grace made Paul and Peter compassionate shepherds, able to weep with those who grieved. They were saying, “When I go to God’s throne to obtain grace, it is for your sake. I want to be a merciful shepherd to you, not a judgmental one. I want to be able to dispense grace to you in your time of need, and you should do the same for others.”
Beloved, our present sufferings are producing something precious in our lives. They are forming in us a cry for the gift of mercy and grace to offer to others who are hurting. Our sufferings make us want to be grace givers.