How do we get through our difficult times? Where do we find the stabilizing grace to carry us through life’s unknowns such as the current pandemic crisis? How do we receive the peace we long for in today’s unprecedented challenges? Do we simply detach, sit back and trust God will take care of our problems? Is this the type of peace God intends or should we get involved and do what we can?
The answer Scripture provides instructs us to place our trust in God ‘to help us’ overcome our difficulties. Yes, an honest question can arise; “Isn’t simply trusting God’s grace for all our needs and problems sufficient?” We may also ask; “What does trusting God really look like?”
The Greek word for ‘grace’ in Scripture is defined as ‘unmerited favor’ (no one deserves or earns it). As undeserving as we are, everyone can experience the favor of God (a). [see end notes for Scriptures]
So, let’s examine the scope of God’s grace. The way Scripture uses the word grace is quite interesting. Out of the sixty nine times grace appears in the Old Testament, forty seven are in the phrase “Find grace in the eyes of…” In those days, God’s favor was sought after and found.
Grace appears only five times in the New Testament Gospels and four are in John during the announcement of the coming of Jesus Christ; “the word (spoken expression) of God became flesh…full of grace and truth (Greek; in essence and visibility)…of His fullness we have all received grace upon grace…grace and truth was realized through Jesus Christ” (b). The fifth reference appears in Luke, saying Jesus; grew and became strong, increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him (c).
As undeserving as we are, we have all received grace upon grace through Jesus Christ.
Confident Trust Enhances Grace
Contrary to Old Testament times, Jesus did not need to find grace; he was God’s visible illustration of grace and truth. Being a man with a keen sensibility towards God, Jesus demonstrated grace while experiencing problems. The only time he appears to have struggled was in the garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion (d). Why?
Jesus walked thru this life “in” the grace of God by continually staying sensitive to his Father’s guidance (e). God’s grace endowed Jesus with an air of peace that affected his whole demeanor. John 1:16 assures us “of His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace.” While we all receive measures of grace, the strength of our trust in God increases our stabilizing peace.
As other examples affirm, God’s grace encourages and empowers. When Paul prayed for deliverance from his problem, God’s response was; “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected (completed) in weakness” (f). Peter and James agreed with Paul by saying; God gives grace to the humble (g). Grace empowers us in our weakness, to gracefully and peacefully work through and overcome our difficult times.
The strength of our trust in God increases our stabilizing peace.
Prospering In Grace
Scripture says all who experience God-in-Christ partake of the Eternal One’s grace (h). It is true, everyone receives degrees of saving grace while believers do so in abundance (j).
Grace not only strengthens our peaceful trust in God, it provides a sense of enablement that equips us to survive and prosper (k). It was a lack of trust that kept a delivered Israel in the wilderness for forty years. It weakened their historical faithfulness to the ways of God and eventually brought an end to their national illustration of God’s enabling grace.
When we live and function in His grace, our confident trust in God is also enhanced (m). We can peacefully deal with our struggles because we trust God can and will keep us from emotionally losing it or giving up and falling victim to our troubling crisis.
God’s amazing grace is more than adequate to provide a peaceful sense of well-being while we work through our emergencies. God does His part in providing grace and a sense of peace when we are actively involved, seeking solutions. We receive grace’s benefits by fully trusting Him.
God does His part in providing grace and a sense of peace when we are actively involved, seeking solutions.
God’s Grace Equips Our Contribution
To experience more of God’s grace, we want to agree with His will and get involved. Yes, faith without works is dead (n). The degree of God’s grace we receive can be dependent on our level of involvement, contributing to what is good and right for all involved (o). When we follow God’s direction, our good works can enjoy the enablement that accompanies grace (p).
During this natural life we face situations and circumstances that are beyond our control. This can threaten our peace in untold ways. Remember, as with all natural things, the difficulties will eventually pass! How long our difficulties last can depend on two perceptions: Our diligent efforts to accept, protect, or reject it.
Scripture says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (r). This is often echoed by the phrase; “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We can lose our internal peace be staying overly focused on our circumstances and the fears that weigh us down. Let’s be victorious over worry and live in the stability that results from trusting in God’s steadfast love (s).
How do we overcome the seemingly overwhelming situations that come our way? We actively walk in the fullness of God’s grace that empowers us with stabilizing peace. Seeking the reality of God with us and His presence among us brings much encouragement.
To experience more of God’s grace, we want to agree with His will and get involved.
a) Romans 3:24; b) John 1:14, 16-17; c) Luke 2:40; d) Matthew 26:36-44; e) John 5:19; f) 2 Corinthians 12:9; g) 1Peter 5:5; James 4:6; h) Jeremiah 9:24; John 17:3; j) 1Timothy 4:10; k) James4:6; m) Hebrews 4:16; n) James 2:26; o) Mark 12:30-33; p) Titus 3:7-8; r) Romans 12:21; s) Isaiah 26:3);