Oh, did I just say that
I know. I’m a little sheepish to talk about this one. It’s difficult to say “grace isn’t working for me” when you know it really should- especially if you are a good girl who goes to church and knows all the correct answers. But, there’s a truth to be told.
Disillusioned by expectation
Many enter into grace disillusioned by expectation. That is: grace is the ticket to an easy, painless, disappointment-free life.
God loves me so He won’t let ‘this’ or ‘that’ happen to me.
Decisions will be clear, things won’t be hard, and you won’t struggle with your crazy anymore.
It doesn’t take long until real life shows up and you respond with:
I’m not feeling the love.
Then, you begin to question:
Where is God? Why is it so hard? If He really loved me, why did He let this happen? Why didn’t I get what I wanted? I asked nicely. I’ve been good.
Finally, based on your own evaluation, you resolve:
Well…grace isn’t working for me.
More than that
Grace is not about making you feel good. Grace is more than that.
God’s grace is not to be evaluated by your situation. It’s not on trial to prove to you that He is legit. God’s grace stands solidly on the truth that God loves you. Period.
In grace, He does not promise easy. But, He does promise to never leave you.
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5, HCSB
In grace, He does not promise that life will be painless. But, He does promise that He will walk with you through it.
I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. Isaiah 43:2, HCSB
In grace, He does not promise that you will always get what you want. But, He does promise that He will always provide what you need.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3, HCSB
That works for me.
3 steps towards grace
So, if you are in a place where you have been disillusioned by expectations and doubt God’s supreme grace for you, consider these three faith steps:
Believe when it’s hard.
Believe by faith when you can’t see or understand. Grace is strong and trustworthy.
clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because the righteous will live by faith… Galatians 3:11
Trust when you don’t want to
Trust by faith when you would rather not step out of your comfort zone or give up something that you should. Grace is wise and true.
But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance. Psalm 13:5
Obey when it hurts
Obey in faith when it hurts and you have cultivated a habit of sin. Obedience is the very vehicle to God’s overwhelming love. Grace is right and pure.
All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:2
The grace of God will consume your faithful obedience and usher you into the massive love and favor of our sweet Jesus.
That works for me.