Do you ever wonder as we live in this country (USA) that is so blessed with "creature comforts" that we have become "flabby" when it comes to our spiritual fitness? We have so much, yet everywhere I turn I see increased dissatisfaction and misery as people clamor for more and more and more. When will it ever be enough? Is there ever an end to the discontent and anxiety of those believing the lies of entitlement thinking? (chew on that one for a few seconds...)
When I returned from the mission field many years ago I returned to a church that was so different. There was a new pastor, leaders, and a different focus of the congregation. When I left, the focus was servant-hood and community. A pond my return I found an atmosphere of spiritual self-centeredness as people were focused on prophecy and spiritual fulfillment. The out reaches that I was involved in had been thrown by the wayside as the people wanted more and more for themselves.
I actually believe we can become discontent with our spirituality. As we see other churches or movements do this or that we become anxious like we are missing out on something. Isn't this exactly what we do on a human level "Keep up with the Jones". The answer to ungratefulness and dissatisfaction is found in God's grace.
I realize that many of my writings, whether in a blog or a newsletter, tend to come off as a rehash of the same old theme: truth and grace! For any of you who have read my writings, you might be thinking, "Geesh, here he goes again on the 'truth grace thing.' Doesn't he know how to write on any other topic?!" I apologize, but only for the fact that the message seems not to be getting through on a larger scale to believers throughout our culture. Grace is the theme of life for the believer, and until we understand (and embrace) this truth, we too will fall victim to the whining and moaning of the increased throng of the dissatisfied.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
So, what is it that makes grace so amazing? Why is it so essential to true life and real contentment? What makes God's grace indispensable, not merely a side issue that we can take or leave on this journey of faith?
What makes God's grace so paramount, so essential in this thing called life is that without it there would be no life at all. It was by God's grace that he even considered creating us to enjoy him. His grace is woven throughout all of creation, offering us breathtaking examples of his beauty and majesty. His grace consistently and persistently pursues mankind, even going so far as to lay down his own life in order that we wouldn't perish but instead enjoy life forever with him. Grace is fundamentally essential to life, in all its layers!
But is grace really enough? This is the question our culture is so accustomed to asking, isn't it? "What is enough?" And we ask it about everything, don't we?
Is average health really enough?
Is a high school diploma really enough?
Is one wife/husband really enough?
Is one car really enough?
Is x-amount of money really enough?
And the list goes on. We as believers should be the first to notice the fallacy in such thinking, but often we ourselves are swept away in the rush of discontent and we find ourselves believing the subtle lie of the enemy (which hasn't changed from the beginning), "What you've been given by the grace of God; it isn't enough." As we swallow the hook of that lie, we (just like the unbeliever) become pawns of the devil, twisting and turning in whatever direction he desires.
I'm not saying we shouldn't want to improve and even take risks in following Christ, in fact, to follow the Lord is a great risk. Jesus himself told us to weigh it carefully before following Him. We need to remember that we are promised discomfort in this life if we follow Jesus. We are promised trouble, hardships, suffering, and even hatred if we take this Christianity message seriously. And this makes sense if you understand that this world is not our home. But in the discomfort, in the trials, in the illnesses, in the losses, is grace really enough?
If you lose your job, is grace really
If your spouse dies or divorces you, is grace really enough?
If your health worsens, is grace really enough?
If your family abandons you for your faith, is grace really enough?
If you are ridiculed, reviled, rejected, or killed for following Jesus, is grace really enough?
If you are cheated in business, is grace really enough?
If you repeatedly fall to the same temptations, is grace really enough?
I believe that until we come to a place where we say with authenticity, "God, your grace is enough," we will never know true life and never experience real peace and contentment. Believer, God's grace IS enough! If he were to provide nothing else for us in our entire existence, save his grace, it would be enough - MORE THAN ENOUGH! Do you believe this? Then cling to it in all of life's seasons.
God's grace is powerful for transforming lives, for in it we find something of the essence of God, the truth that he really does love us with an everlasting love. His compassion is endless, His salvation is permanent, His mercy is great and His faithfulness reaches beyond the heavens. When you come to the place of understanding and appreciating the limitless grace of God, you finally reach a place in your life that transcends circumstance, that is beyond the physical, material world that appeals to the rottenness of our sinful flesh. You enter a place of peace, untouched and unmarred by anything this life can throw at you in hopes that you fall. And even when you do stumble, God's grace is there to pick you up again and again.
I pray you will embrace God's grace today and every day. It really is enough...
Abundantly satisfied by the truth of grace,