Monday, October 23, 2017

The Dependability of God’s Grace

April 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

 

The Dependability of God’s Grace

            We can count on God. He is reliable, dependable—we will find grace when we need it. His grace never lets us down or disappoints.

I’ll never forget the night an ambulance barreled down our quiet cul-de-sac at two in the morning. Bright lights whirled around, illuminating bits and pieces of the neighborhood. When the hues of orange and yellow lit up the faces of the neighbor’s family, I detected concern. They helplessly watched their loved one being wheeled out on a gurney, strapped in and curled up on her side. What could the problem be? Our neighbor is around my age. Maybe she was severely dehydrated from a bout with a stomach virus, or perhaps she had a fall down the stairs. I felt so powerless to help, so I commenced to pray. God knew all about it.

Normally I wouldn’t have been awake at that hour of the night. Maybe I was still up due to the concerns on my heart or the highly caffeinated diet Code Red I guzzled earlier in the evening. To make sure I was awake, God allowed a phone call at 1:30 in the morning from a friend who wanted to tell us about his son’s wedding and didn’t care if he woke us up to share his joy.

While sleep is nice, the privilege to pray for someone else is even better. I’m glad I was awake to see the need. Have you ever had an odd set of circumstances cause you to be in the right place at the right time to intercede at the throne of God on behalf of someone else? What a precious gift!

We can release our burdens (a thick sense of worry for the well-being of another) when we enter into prayer to our Savior. God doesn’t want us borrowing trouble from tomorrow by worrying about the unknown, but He does use our concern for others as a way to help us pray for them. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:24). When we put ourselves in their shoes and empathize with them, we end up praying with greater fervency and urgency. “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down” (Philippians 4:6–7 msg).

I had no way of knowing there would be a different kind of code red in the middle of my night. But God knew all about it, before it ever happened. He met me there that night, and He met the need. Reliable.

Ambulances are wonderful signs to engage in prayer. Really, any siren is a good cue. A friend of mine taught her little boy that the flashing lights and blaring sirens of an ambulance or fire truck mean help is on the way, and she leads him in a simple prayer for the unknown person in need. But it doesn’t take a siren for us to know God’s help is on the way. He is dependable. We can rely on Him to rescue us—to nurse our hurts—to soothe our wounds. I’m so glad I can count on Him.

His grace is reliable—you can count on it—you can count on Him. Even when the world crashes in around you and you feel like you’re falling in a bottomless pit, alone in the dark. God is there.

Because of the cares of the world, we can become cynical, hardened, doubtful, or guarded. If we are any of those things, how are we living a life of grace? It’s not possible. Just like some of the popular diets swap this food for that food, what if we swap out our perspectives? It’s not easy when dealing with feelings, but with discipline and mental focus, along with God’s strength, it’s possible.

• Instead of being cynical, open your mind to new possibilities in God.

• Instead of being hardened, soften your heart toward God.

• Instead of being doubtful, renew your hope in Him.

• Instead of being guarded, trust in God to be faithful to you.

What if you had an anchor that would help stabilize you, not sink you? That’s the kind of anchor I want. God’s dependability provides this anchor for us. How do you see God anchoring your life when you trust in Him?

 

Grace Acted Out:

  • Seek God’s promises, to anchor your trust. Look in the Bible to find God’s dependable words.
  • Live up to your own promises. Often we project our feelings about self onto God. If we are disappointed in how we do life, we blame Him. When you live up to your commitments, you are a better pattern of God’s reliability. This becomes a reminder of Who He is.
  • If visuals help you, when you find yourself doubting God, visualize the image of an anchor.
  • Surrender your future to a God on Whom you can rely. When you do this, you provide more hope to live right now, in the present.We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you (2 Corinthians 1:12 NLT).* Excerpted from Grin with Grace (AMG Publishers)Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. She shines the light on issues that hold readers back and inspires their own lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published and she has several books releasing over the next three years, including Grin with Grace with AMG Publishers (at amazon: amzn.to/1wg6Nmh). She and her husband/pastor, Russ, live in Texas. Learn more at: www.kathycarltonwillis.com/

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