We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. — 2 Corinthians 8:1,2 (ESV)
2 + 2 = 4.
A synonym for run is sprint.
Grass is green (when watered).
The sky is blue (at least the parts we can see without smog or overcast skies).
But God’s grace — this makes absolutely no sense. So when John Newton penned the words to, “Amazing Grace”, he was really on to something.
Amazing | causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing; startlingly impressive.
It just doesn’t make sense. And it is obvious in this verse.
As the churches in Macedonia were experiencing “a severe test of affliction,” something startling came out of it. The grace of God compelled them to move completely opposite and away from logical to out of bounds. The grace of God caused them to have overflowed in a wealth of generosity in the midst of severe testing. What was the key?
THEIR ABUNDANCE OF JOY.
With their abundance of joy they faced their extreme poverty with overwhelming generosity, willing to give above and beyond so that others had enough.
What would happen if Christians actually lived like this? What would happen if I did?
It would truly be amazing. It would be by God’s grace. And honestly: it just wouldn’t make sense.