How Does Grace Get You Through?
"My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God's grace for you. Stand firm in his grace." (1 Peter 5:12b NLT)
There are many pitfalls in the marathon of life. But regardless of what you go through, you can count on God's sustaining grace.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:12, "My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God's grace for you. Stand firm in his grace" (NLT).
There are three things in life that can cause you to stumble, to get cast off to the side of the race, and to not finish well in life. And in each of these situations, God's sustaining grace will get you through.
1. God's sustaining grace helps you keep standing when you're tempted.
Temptation is the first thing that causes us to stumble. The Bible says, "God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure" (1 Corinthians 10:13b).
God says, "I will provide the sustaining grace to always give you a way of escape." It may mean turn the channel. It may mean run out the door. It may mean change the way you're thinking. But he will provide a way to escape temptation.
2. God's sustaining grace helps you keep standing when you're tired.
Sometimes you're not tempted. Sometimes you're just tired! Life is often exhausting. It requires a lot of energy, especially when you're trying to do the right thing rather than the easy thing. But where do you get the power to do the right thing when you're dead tired? "It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts" (2 Corinthians 1:21-22a). The key is having the Holy Spirit in your heart to have the energy to do the things you can't do in your own power.
3. God's sustaining grace gives you the power to keep going when you're troubled.
There are some hurts that all the wishing in the world won't make go away. There are some things in life that are unplanned, unrelenting, and undeserved - and they hurt the most.
What do you do in those situations? You first stop doing the "If only" game and instead focus on Christ and his sustaining power. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Don't worry, because I am with you. Don't be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you" (NCV).
That's how you get sustaining grace.
Talk It Over
- How have you seen God's sustaining grace carry you through difficult times?
- How can you extend God's sustaining grace to others?
- What do you think it means to play the "If only" game? When have you used this excuse?