A young minister was nervously preaching his first sermon as pastor in a tiny country church. His anxiety showed as he tried to tell what happened in the text. ”The Master fed the multitude,” he said, his voice quivering, “with 5,000 loaves and 2,000 fish.”
An old fellow sitting in the front row laughed and said loudly, “Why, I could do that.”
The next Sunday the young pastor tried again. “Last Sunday I meant to say that the Master fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two tiny fish.”
He then turned to the elderly man and asked, “Could you do that?”
The man said, “I could if you’d let me use what we had left over from last week.”
Some days it feels like we don’t have enough. Enough energy. Enough money. Enough time.
We often are keenly aware of what we don’t have rather than what we do have. This has sometimes been called a scarcity mindset. It means that you obsess over what you lack.
But I want to invite you to consider what you do have at this moment. What are the intellectual resources and skills that God has given to you? What experiences has God led you through to help you grow in wisdom and knowledge? What kind of friends and family are available to you when you have a need? What material blessings can you count today — food, clothing, a roof over your head, or other basic necessities?
Whatever you’re going through, you have enough to do what God has called you to do. If you’re feeling inadequate as a parent, know that God has chosen and gifted you to be what you need to be at this moment. If you feel overwhelmed by a relational challenge, know that God is available to you to help you walk by faith and love.
You have been given 24 hours today — the same that every person on the planet gets — to do what God asks of you.
More than having enough, you are enough. Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” God has lavished you with enough love, enough grace, and enough power to be and do what God wants.
But trying to strive after the world’s definition of what it means to be enough is a dead end. It can feel overwhelming to try to rise to the expectations of others around you. When you compare yourself to other parents, other people in business, or even other men and women of faith, you may feel like you never measure up.
So let me give you three verses to remind you that with God, enough is enough.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).
This means that whatever you face, God will give you enough grace to see you though.
Paul was facing a challenge when he wrote these words. We don’t know exactly what he was going through, whether a physical infirmity, a difficult relationship, or a constant temptation. He called it his “thorn in the flesh.”
Three times he asked God to take it away from him. Three times God said no.
But that’s not all that God said. When he asked for deliverance, it was as if God responded, “No, Paul, I won’t remove that problem you’re having, but I will give you enough grace and strength to keep going in spite of that challenge. It will be enough for you.”
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV).
This is a favorite verse for youth sports t-shirts. It’s a great reminder that God gives strength for what you’re doing. But it probably is more suited to the bigger challenges of life.
The context of this verse is Paul thanking the Philippian church for helping him with a need. He often depended on the offerings of others just to make ends meet. He often experienced difficult days, including the fact that he was in jail (probably in Rome) when he wrote this letter. So he knew what it was to be mistreated and misunderstood.
Still, he wrote, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11-12, NIV).
He was content because God enabled him to do all things through Him (Christ).
We often focus on the “I can do all things” part and forget that it’s only possible “through Him.”
Whenever you think you aren’t enough, remember: Christ is enough. He lives in you and you live in Him. You can fall back on the promise that “the one who is in you [Christ] is greater than the one who is in the world [the Enemy]” (1 John 4:4, NIV).
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).
In other words, God’s power is enough to enable you to live a godly life, no matter whether things are going well or falling apart.
Trouble is going to come. Disappointments arrive daily. In those times, it’s easy to think from a scarcity mindset rather than believe in the abundance of God.
But you have the power of God. You have the help of angel-armies, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of Jesus Himself. You have been called to glory and goodness, not to wallow in the pettiness and meanness of the world.
As we enter the Advent season, you may feel overwhelmed by the extra activities and all that needs to be accomplished. Or you may be coasting to the end of the year with a fatigue and heart-sickness that keeps you from experiencing joy. You may feel like all you see and hear is bad news.
Here’s the good news: you have everything you need for a Spirit-filled celebration of the Messiah. Christ has come. His birth, death, and resurrection changes everything.
You may think you don’t have enough or that you’re not enough, but He is enough. He is enough. He is enough.
Pastor Brent McDougal