Guaranteed Ability to Cope – His Sufficient Grace

by Joe Fornear

Life can be overwhelmingly hard and the temptation to despair can be great. Happened to me when I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma in 2003. I was soon after given the prognosis of “days to live.” The cancer and it’s cures were far more than I could personally handle emotionally, physically or spiritually.

I’m so glad, however, that the Lord displayed His amazing grace and powers through human followers, like Job and Paul. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-25, Paul lists among some of his hardships the following experiences, any of which would devastate most of us!

  • Many imprisonments
  • Beaten times without number
  • Five times he received thirty-nine lashes from the Jews.
  • Three times he was beaten with rods
  • Once he was stoned
  • Three times he was shipwrecked, once floating in the ocean for 24 hours

“The 6 rounds of chemo whipped me” doesn’t quite rise to the level of “I was whipped by a leather whip with metal shards in it 195 times” (five times thirty-nine)! Paul desperately sought God to remove these trials, eventually God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

What does “sufficient grace” mean? Here are five elements to the grace He supplies:

1) He gives HIS peace – In John 14:27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

2) He gives peace that surpasses understanding – Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

3) The love of God is poured out within our hearts – Romans 5:3-5 – “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

4) Inexpressible Joy – 1 Peter 1:8 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

5) Joy that’s better than the world’s joy – Psalm 4:7 – “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”

Don’t ever fall into the trap of despair, God can handle your battle through you!

In His Grip,
Joe and Terri Fornear

(used with permission)

Stronghold Ministry

About Stronghold Ministry


Sophia’s Testimony


…Reflecting back to September 2018 when God revealed to me to seek out Cross to Life Discipleship Ministry for biblical counseling to August 2019 when I am writing this testimony, my experience can be summarized by the following four steps, through which God’s invisible but eternal presence and grace has been working in me to sanctify me to become the person He wants me to be. Indeed, God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and for those who are called for His purpose. What is His purpose for me? For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:28-29).

Step 1: Brokenness – I came to the end of my own resources.
I remember pastor Troy Dobbs sometimes quoted in his sermon that “brokenness is the blessing that nobody wants”. I agree. I don’t want to be broken, instead I want to be protected and shielded from hardship. But is my want realistic in life? Is my want the same as what God wants in my life?

Growing up in China before I came to US in my early 20’s for education, I had experienced hardship in life due to my parents’ turbulent marriage. Home environment was unstable, not nurturing, full of hostility of my parents against each other on a daily basis, and insecure. Suffering from youth in this environment had motivated my young soul to ask deeper questions about life, such as what is life, why I am here, who am I, where I am going, what is the meaning of life, why is there suffering, why human hurt each other, is there a solution for suffering, and is there hope? I didn’t find answers to my questions in academic success, career in prestige accounting firm, physical attractiveness, philosophy, and psychology. I was broken inside losing hope in life, then God saved me at His timing and in His way in 2006…

Step 2: Total surrender – Jesus Christ is not only my Savior, but also my Lord, and my Life…

Step 3: Identification – My union with Christ is not only head knowledge but also life experience.
I learned my identification with Christ in the following ways:
1) Identification in His death. He died for me (Romans 5:8). I died with Him (Romans 6:6).
2) Identification in His burial. I was buried with Him (Romans 6:4).
3) Identification in His risen life. I live with Him in newness of life (Romans 6:4-5).
4) Identification with His glory. I share the splendor of His Character by His indwelling life (John 17:22, 2 Corinthians 4:7, Romans 8:17-18).
5) Identification in His concern for a lost world. I have been sent as His ambassador to share His good news with a world that does not know Him (John 17:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
6) Identification in His triumph. He always leads me in triumph over sin (Romans 6:14), over circumstances (Romans 8:25-28), over Satan (Colossians 2:15).
7) Identification in His reign. I am to reign in life through Him (Romans 5:17). I will reign with Him (Revelation 5:10).
8) Identification as joint heir with Him. I share in all that He is (Romans 8:14, 17, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23).
9) Identification in His suffering. We suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him (Romans 8:17, Philippians 1:29, 1 Peter 4:12, 13).

Learning and comprehending my identification with Christ becomes not only head knowledge but also real experience. Somehow God has caused the biblical truth and teaching of union with Christ becomes realized. I experienced Him and His life in this process. My words fail to explain or describe it. I experienced deliverance and His life, His abundant life, truly wonderful beyond words. Galatians 2:20 is no longer a familiar and memorized biblical truth, but reality.

Step 4: Experience the Abundant Life of Christ – I experience the power and life of Christ in me in daily walk.
How to live the abundant life of Christ in me on a day to day basis? I learned that to cooperate with God and sail above life’s trials and challenges, I need to “spread my wings” through surrender and trust. I need to surrender to God’s control moment by moment (Romans 12:1,2; Luke 9:23) and trust fully in Christ’s indwelling presence to live through me moment by moment (Galatians 2:20, John 15:5). As I “spread my wings” through surrender and trust, let God’s Word dwell in me and maintain an attitude of praying (Colossians 3:16; Philippians 4:6,7).…

Read Sophia’s complete testimony here: Sophia’s Testimony