Grace. We as Christians love that word. It is our life and our breath, literally and spiritually. We know it and hold it close because it is by God's grace we are rescued from our sin.
What we don't always think about, however, is that grace–Christ's generous mercy toward us–is the sweet, soul-sustaining power that God imparts to every believer.
It is not only at the moment of belief that we experience grace but in our everyday walk. Wherever we are, whatever season we're in, God's grace sustains us.
So often I question whether I can handle what's coming next. Will I be able to manage the home after my next baby is born? Will I still be friends with her if I share the Gospel? Will I trust God even if I lose everything? Will I stand for Christ if I'm severely persecuted? Will my strength fail?
The answer to many of my worries and yours is simple: grace.
God will give it to us, though we are but sinners, in our time of need. Our strength will fail, but His does not. Just like our salvation is established by His grace, our faith and our life are carried by His grace as the Holy Spirit works in us and through us. As Psalm 73:26 reads, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (ESV).
Grace is seeing God's kindness in His Word and letting it infuse our heart with strength, courage, purpose, and peace. It is the untouchable love of God leading us to our flawless, heavenly home, despite the brokenness of today.
Through the intricate workings of the Father, Son, and Spirit, we face each day with grace–grace to live, grace to die to self, grace to persevere, grace to thrive, grace to stand, grace to serve.
It is God's sustaining grace that not only saves us but sanctifies us in every trial. It preserves us in the present, protects us from the past, and prepares us for eternity.
But in order to experience it, we must welcome it. In our tear-stained moments we have to turn to Him and ask Jesus in. The truth is that He is already there, our faith being the ever-present need to recognize His nearness.
God's sustaining grace is believing that when you are falling to your knees in despair, the hands of Jesus can and will pull you up.
This gift of grace is so powerful–it is what brings blessing and endurance in the midst of the most debilitating circumstances. It is the very sustenance that allows us to say with Paul in every situation, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
When you cannot face another failure, the Holy Spirit's calming presence presses you onward. He transfers His divine and infinite resources to us, that in our weakness we may shine with His glory (2 Peter 1:3). In Isaiah 40:28-29, it is written, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength."
When you sin and succumb to the crushing weight of temptation and guilt, piece by piece the Father removes the dirty debris until you rise cleansed and walk rightly with Him again.
Every attack, every anxiety, every loss, while seeming to drag us to destruction, cannot. He walks with us through these fires, determined to refine us into something more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:6-7). We are reminded in Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."
It's having knowledge of Christ's unending love and then taking the next step of faithfulness. It's seeing His sacrifice and receiving another ounce of strength for your own moment of self-denial to your husband, your child, your neighbor.
When everything is tearing at the seams and hanging by a thread, He is there, holding your life tenderly–keeping your faith intact, providing the needed wisdom, offering everlasting hope, saying, "My grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Sister, this is yours in Christ Jesus. He is our grace and truth as we embrace the work of His redemption and follow Him with all of who we are.
See it in His Word. Find it in fellowship. Sing it in worship. Pray for it with praise.
Such grace cannot be found elsewhere but only in the One who is the designer of your destiny, the One who is with you now and who will be with you forevermore.