The Grace of God

A common phrase that comes out of a believer’s lips in many situations is- “by the grace of God”. What is grace? Grace is getting from God what we don’t deserve. We all know and are sure that we are all “living, moving and having our being” only because of the grace of God. Had it not been for God’s abundant grace, our existence would not have been possible.

Ephesians 2:5
…by grace you have been saved’.

Though we were not worthy at all because of our small and great sins, God poured grace on us – which is a wonderful gift.

Romans 5:2
…We have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

How many times would we have succumbed to death in calamities and accidents, but God’s grace pulled us out from them. Many a time we are proud that we have achieved glory and fame academically or spiritually but we have to share Paul’s testimony as in 1 Corinthians 15:10 , But by the grace of God I am what I am, …yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Though we claim to be very strong in the Lord, we fall into many temptations and worldly lure but it is God’s grace that stops us from erring further and brings us back into His fold. All the gifts that we possess including all our faculties like the five senses, our health, a stable home – the list is endless – are all bestowed upon us by God’s grace. Even spiritual gifts are only because of His grace. They should never be taken for granted. In situations where we are down financially, mentally or spiritually too, it’s the grace of God which does not let our minds become shattered but allows us to hold our heads high. Remember – “we enjoy the incomparable riches of His grace” (Ephesians 2:7). If we want to continue steadfastly in the faith, we need His grace.

In 1 Peter 4:10, Paul has said we are good stewards of the manifold grace of God. So we should impart whatever gift He has given to us, willingly and freely to others too. Paul, in all the epistles has used ‘grace’ as a key word in the introductory and concluding verses. In Ephesians 1:2, he wishes ‘grace and peace to the saints which are at Ephesus’.

Every time we ask God to take away some “thorns in our flesh”, and we don’t receive concrete answers to prayer, we must be happy and content with the answer given in 2 Corinthians 9 “My grace is sufficient for you”.
According to Rom 5:17, let us be joyous in the fact that because we have received God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness, we will reign in life forever with Jesus Christ.
While we enjoy His abundant blessings through grace, we should not be unaware of the fact that He forgives us even now – every time we fall, only because of the age of grace that we are still in. It will not be long before that door is closed and we will not be able to expect Him to ‘throw our sins behind His back’ as He has done and is doing now.

To conclude, as 2 Peter 3:18 reminds us –‘Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. Let us also learn to be humble for God gives grace to such (Hebrews 4:6), and testify to the gospel of GOD’S GRACE (Acts20:24).

Grace in the Wilderness

It’s perfectly normal to have problems in life. In fact, they are part and parcel of leading a life on earth. Especially for a Christian, the difficult and trying times are indeed more numerous and often even harsher than for others. Nobody likes to willingly go through trials though the outcome of such an ordeal is only for our benefit. As a human being, it’s not too easy to comprehend why our Father would make us endure so much pain – pain that has the capacity to challenge our physical and mental strength.

Jeremiah 31:2
Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when I went to give him rest.”

In the above passage,we read that the people who survived the sword found ‘grace in the wilderness’. It speaks about the children of Israel and their experience in the arid dry lands. When one thinks of a desert, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Dryness, emptiness, nothingness, dead, no life, etc. There is no freshness and no life to be expected in such a place. But the children of Israel found ‘grace in the wilderness’ and they survived by the Lord’s hand. In the harshest conditions, the Lord never left them. He made sure His grace and comfort was there to see them through.

Our life situations too at times may feel like a parched and dried up land – nothing new to expect, nothing to look forward to. This dryness can be felt in academics, work, relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brother and sister, friends, colleagues and even between us and God. Spiritual dryness can often leave us down and hopeless. Our communication with Him gets affected and it may come to the point where we seem to have lost all contact with Him. You pick up the phone to make a call to Him but He doesn’t seem to be on the other line. His silence can be piercing.

But the Lord who promised us, ‘I’ll never leave you nor forsake you’ (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8) lives even today. And He didn’t give that promise only during good times but even through the bad and normal times as well. Our Lord is not one who makes empty promises. If He says something He will bring it to pass in His time (Isiah 55:10,11). Not ours. We need to be patient because He waits for that perfect time. After undergoing a tough situation, we realize that the Lord’s grace, comfort and kindness were with us all along. He never leaves us as orphans. How can He? We are His children. If our Father doesn’t take care of us, who else will? The next time you are faced with a crisis, just remember that God’s silence doesn’t mean His absence. God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1).

Grace in the Wilderness

It’s perfectly normal to have problems in life. In fact, they are part and parcel of leading a life on earth. Especially for a Christian, the difficult and trying times are indeed more numerous and often even harsher than for others. Nobody likes to willingly go through trials though the outcome of such an ordeal is only for our benefit. As a human being, it’s not too easy to comprehend why our Father would make us endure so much pain. Pain that has the capacity to challenge our physical and mental strength.

In Jeremiah 31:2, we read that “The people who survived the sword found ‘grace in the wilderness’. It speaks about the children of Israel and their experience in the arid dry lands. When one thinks of a desert, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Dryness, emptiness, nothingness, dead, no life, etc. There is no freshness and no life to be expected in such a place. But the children of Israel found ‘grace in the wilderness’ and they survived by the Lord’s hand. In the harshest conditions, the Lord never left them. He made sure His grace and comfort was there to see them through.

Our life situations too at times may feel like a parched and dried up land—nothing new to expect, nothing to look forward to. This dryness can be felt in academics, work, relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, brother and sister, friends, colleagues and even between us and God. Spiritual dryness can often leave us down and hopeless. Our communication with Him gets affected and it may come to the point where we seem to have lost all contact with Him. You pick up the phone to make a call to Him but He doesn’t seem to be on the other line. His silence can be piercing.

But the Lord who promised us, ‘I’ll never leave you nor forsake you’ (Deut 31:6, 8) lives even today. And He didn’t give that promise only during good times but even through the bad and normal times as well. Our Lord is not one who makes empty promises. If He says something He will bring it to pass in His time (Isiah 55:10,11). Not ours. We need to be patient because He waits for that perfect time. After undergoing a tough situation, we realize that the Lord’s grace, comfort and kindness were with us all along. He never leaves us as orphans. How can He? We are His children. If our Father doesn’t take care of us, who else will? The next time you are faced with a crisis, just remember that God’s silence doesn’t mean His absence. God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1). God bless.