A Greater Grace {for when life gives you trouble}

“In this world you will have many troubles…”  Jesus.  Red letters.  Not maybe.  Not just some of “you.”  Everyone.

Troubles. 

You’ve got them, don’t you?  Big troubles, little troubles.  Unexplainable ones and predictable ones.  They’re everywhere and can’t be avoided.

This last season of my life has proved one thing to my trouble-prone heart:  Troubles serve as opportunities to be reminded of who we really are…or at least who we are supposed to be. 

Without trouble we are prone to grow proud.  And where the yeast of pride grows, a hardened heart and a darkened understanding will be inevitable bed fellows (I Corinthians 5:2-8; Ephesians 4:18).   Before long, we are answering only to the god of self.  Pride is the constant companion of idolatory.

Troubles call us to the humble life.  They cause us to dig down deep into the humility marked by a gospel-shaped life.  They remind us that we are mess-ups, messing up.  Who among us has not faced a trouble that has rendered us powerless?  Yes, the gospel whispers to us everyday, “You can’t do this yourself.  You need Me.” 

“Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:  He jealously desires that Spirit which He has made to dwell in us? But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore, it says, GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.  Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  ~James 4:5-10.

In trouble, we are tempted to fix our own problems.  To that temptation we are coaxed by the Word to surrender our troubles to the Lord.  In so doing, we find a greater grace…a grace that can’t be found in our strength, wisdom, or ability.  It is the grace of the Father’s love rescuing us with the same heart He demonstrated for us on the cross.  Our dependence on Christ’s love at the cross is our greater grace.  It soothes our heart, “Rest.  The stuff that really matters is finished.  I declared, ‘It is finished.’  Rest in my work.”

I can’t do it on my own.  God has humbled me to remind me that I am His…oh, but the greater grace is that He is mine.

“For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.  In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you.” says the LORD your Redeemer…For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the LORD who has compassion on you…”Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work, and I have created the destroyer to ruin.  No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants {the bowed low ones} of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.  ~Isaiah 54:7-10, 16-17

Troubles.  You have them.  I have them.  But there is a greater grace for you today.  Humble yourself, that you might rest in the redemption of your Lord.

4 thoughts on “A Greater Grace {for when life gives you trouble}

  1. loved this Brenda 🙂
    I’m quite moved that you used a scripture I’ve never heard taught on, and which I have tattooed on my arm! I love it when God pulls things together for me!

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