GOD’S GRACE AND SUFFERING – WHAT? WHAT?

What are you going through today? 

Are you in physical pain? Have just received devastating news? Has the bottom fallen out from under you? Help us on the way! No wait. . . Help is HERE!

image

I love how God works in us no matter what is happening. Another trip to the E.R. this week. Four days ago I woke up from a nap and couldn’t move my arms and legs. They gave me another 1000mg infusion of Prednisone in the E.R. and by 8:00p.m. I could stand up but too shakey to walk. Dr recommended taking 10mg Predisone every day to keep me from crashing so much. We met a wonderful young man who is a pastor’s son and an artist. After we talked awhile he left but came back a few minutes later to pray with us. Then there was the nurse who was Jewish but converted to Christianity. She loves God’s Word. We had some great conversations. I’m reminded of the old preacher who woke up every day and prayed “God what are you up to today and can I be in on it.”

The Apostle Paul frequently prays the simple prayer below. It is power packed with help fir us today in whatever suffering we may be experiencing.

1 Corinthians 16:23

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 

GRACE! What in the world does that mean? We touched on it in the last post a little bit. Permit me to tell a story that actually happened to me.

Coming home from beautiful Taos, New Mexico many years ago, Chris decided to take a nap. I decided to see how fast our brand new Camry would go across the utterly empty terrain of New Mexico. Now I will never know exactly how fast that Camry was going when the officer stopped me because the speedometer only went to 140mpg. I thought I was going to jail. He said, “Mam, do you know how fast you were going?” I answered, “Yes sir, about 140mpg.” “Why were you driving that fast?” he said. About this time Chris was fully awake and listening. “Well, I wanted to see how fast my brand new Camry would go.” I answered. “You are very honest,” he replied. “She better be! She’s the wife of a Baptist pastor!” Chris said. “OK, you know I could put you in jail for reckless driving?” He told me. “Yes sir, I do.” I’m only going to charge you for going going 75mph. Please drive carefully, Mam.”

Now that’s grace! I had earned and I deserved to be in jail. It was only by the officers grace that I was let go with a greatly reduced fine. So you can see that grace is getting something good, something that let’s you off the hook free without any action on your part. And when you do not deserve. No judgement! no condemnation! No criticism!

 

Usually the word grace is used in reference to God. The Bible tells us that Grace is what God pours out on us; all the good things that he pours out on us and for us and with us that we do not earn or deserve. Not only that, he does this when we have turned into his enemies and reject him and abuse him and neglect him and do not return His LOVE. Grace Is God choosing to be kind and loving and generous to us when we do not deserve it. Why does God do this. One word LOVE!

“It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.” Ephesians 2:4 (MSG)

God’s grace is demonstrated in the gift of the most precious thing that he had and has, His son Jesus Christ. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit lived together perfectly in LOVE, harmony and beauty in eternity before he created the universe. He created humanity in his LOVE and grace and harmony and beauty to be creatures who would LOVE Him in return. But we all know it did not turn out that way. Every single day each one of us reject Jesus in one way or another.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8.9 (HCSB)

Grace began in the Garden of Eden when God killed an animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). Animal sacrifices were required from then on in the Old Testament to point to the time when Jesus would come and reverse the horrible damage done to humanity, the earth and all creation

For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility–not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it–in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Romans 8:19-22

. He could have killed the first humans right then for their disobedience. That would have been righteousness and justice. They earned it and deserved it for ruining everything. But rather than destroy them, He chose to make a way for them to be right with Him and make things right for everyone and everything. God guided humanity through over 1,500 years of history to the exact moment to send His precious Son, Jesus into the world.

“Therefore, as He was coming into the world (while He was being born), Jesus said: You did not want sacrifice and offering, but You prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. Then I said, “See— it is written about Me in the volume of the scroll— I have come to do Your will, God!” Hebrews 10:5-7

Jesus tells us that He IS the way to God through grace.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

Another way to say it is:

GRACE IS GODS PLAN IN ACTION WITH OUT OUR HELP.

How does this apply to suffering? What’s in it for me?

APPLICATION ALERT:

When I am suffering, I often feel worthless because I don’t feel like praying, Or reading my Bible or working on this blog. I feel l like I’ve let God down. That’s when I need to remember grace God doesn’t need for me to do anything to get Him to love me. He already does…

When we pray this short, simple prayer, for us or someone else , we are asking God to give that person all undeserved love, help, and good things that are in His big, beautiful heart. We are asking God to do this even though that person or person rejects Him, doesn’t Love Him, doesn’t even think He exists and even hates his Son, Jesus. And guess what? God will do it.

Oh! Don’t forget to pray this for yourself!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, prayer needs, or just receive help and hope from this page. Yiou can use the comments section below or contact me on Facebook.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s