Have you ever felt like you didn’t deserve God’s grace?
Well, that’s kind of the point. Grace is not something you deserve. In fact, the whole point of grace is that it blesses you with goodness and kindness that you do not deserve and have not earned.
It is integral to the nature of God to be gracious. By His grace, God showers His people with mercy and compassion and lovingkindness. In fact, He bestows grace on His enemies as well. Therefore, Jesus said,
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:44-45)
Is grace a free ticket out of trouble? As much as we might want it to be, it is not. Often it is rather the strength and help we receive in the midst of our troubles (2Cor. 12:7-9).
Grace is not some commodity we can store up for a rainy day. It does not always come at the time or in the manner we want it to. It is not available on demand. It is an expression of the nature of God. God is gracious. He bestows grace when and how and to whom He chooses, because, well… because He can. Because that is Who He is.
Whether or not we are aware of it, God’s grace is at work in the life of every human being, indeed in all of Creation. I believe this little poem, attributed to Elizabeth Cheney, 1859, captures the truth of God’s grace quietly at work around us, while we humans rush about unaware:
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”
There are many aspects to God’s grace. God’s grace is at work in Creation and in ways that are common to all mankind. For example, He stirs up the heart to seek Him and the so-called conscience to whisper words of truth and guidance into our minds. Of course, more often than not, we train ourselves not to listen and seek instead that which we think will bring us comfort and pleasure. But the nature of God is such that He imparts His grace anyway, even knowing we will choose our own way.
We are also saved by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). We never could begin to deserve the salvation bought for us on the cross with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God Himself. We could never earn the right to be called children of God, but all who receive Him become His children by the grace of God (John 1:12).
And as His children, we are given the gracious privilege of drawing near to Him in prayer to find grace and help for our circumstance,
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Why, then, do we so often neglect to ask for His grace to help us?
Perhaps we have simply developed the habit of doing things on our own. Or perhaps we still mistakenly believe we don’t deserve His grace, not having fully grasped the glorious truth that God is gracious regardless of who we are or what we have done.
Now, I’m not saying that we should expect God to pour out His grace upon us while we stubbornly continue in sin (Rom. 6:1-2). Although, in truth, He may indeed pour out His grace by disciplining us (Heb. 12:5-11). But I am saying that those of us who know Jesus as our savior rarely tap into the abundant grace that is available to us in Christ to do what is right and good. As the Apostle Paul writes,
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; (2Cor. 9:8)
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God be with you!
From the series: Nature of God
I think my issue, most times, is that God helps me in ways different than what I expected. I wanted help my way, and I have to realize that God will help me His way, which is the best way when all is said and done.
Well said. If we all showed more grace to each other it might be easier to recognize it when it comes form God.