If you were to scan the entire vocabulary for the most beautiful word in the universe, which word would you choose? Some might choose love, and I will not disagree. You can make a strong biblical case for that word (John 3:16, Romans 5:8 and John 13:34). And if you know me, you would know the word I would choose is GRACE.
You need it. You can’t live without it, but you cannot purchase it and you can’t earn it. It only comes by means of a gift, and when you receive it, you realize how much you needed it all along. In a fallen world, populated by selfish, lost, fearful, and rebellious people, it’s the one thing that everyone needs.
God’s grace is the most powerful force in the universe. It reaches you where you are and takes you where God wants you to be. It has the power to do something that nothing else can do, and transforms you at the core of who you are as a human being — your heart.
Sustaining grace is the power to keep on going when I feel like giving up. Do you ever feel like this? Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. (Ephesians 2: 8-9) We are saved by God’s grace. We simply had to believe Jesus was God’s Son and then trust Him as our Savior, who died for our sin and —conquered death — and rose from the grave. Did you know that once we are saved, God sustains us with His grace? This allows us to persevere, even in unrelenting adversity.
The Apostle Paul suffered from what he called a “thorn in the flesh” and asked God three times to remove it. A thorn could be anything that incessantly pricks and irritates, causing weakness or pain. Whatever the category — physical, emotional, spiritual, or situational — it wears us down. What Paul saw as a hindrance, God used as a sanctifying agent to protect him from pride. The thorn remained, but Paul was given grace to endure and even rejoice that through His weakness, the Lord’s strength was perfected. (2 Corinthians 12; 8-9)
When you can’t fix an unfixable problem or you can’t change an unchangeable circumstance, you throw yourself on the sustaining grace of God. How do you get God’s sustaining grace to keep you going in spite of temptations, trials, tension, tiredness, and troubles? You “cry out” for God’s help. Being self-sufficient you will short-circuit God’s power in your life. We fill our minds with God’s Word and allow it to comfort us, strengthen us, fill us, and give us the energy we need to keep on keeping on.
Where do you need God’s sustaining grace today? Where are you discouraged and feel like giving up? Are you being tempted? Are you tired and feel as though you can’t put one foot in front of the other? Are you under tension, in trials that you can’t fix? No matter what you are going through, God’s grace will sustain you if you will let it. If you are going through a problem you can’t fix, don’t give up — look up!
Our experiences and the Bible teach us that grace does not prevent pain, but orders and arranges and measures our pain, and then in the darkness is there to sustain. I have scars on my body from a traumatic automobile accident that are memorials of God’s sustaining grace.
Grace is God’s bearing of Himself, toward His children always in the context of loving favor. God promises to every believer the grace of sustaining provisions. Sustain means to hold up, to nourish, to furnish the means of living. The grace of God not only takes care of our sin through the cross, but it also takes care of our daily lives. Grace allows us to face life as it is with absolute confidence that God is watching over us, caring for us and enabling us in every circumstance of life.
Regardless of what you go through, no matter what you face, you can always count on God’s Sustaining Grace to be there. God uses hardships for our good.
First Peter 5:10 informs us that God is God of all grace. Outside of God there is no grace and no mercy. Christianity is the only religious faith in the world that has the concept of grace. God’s sustaining grace is the power that God gives to keep us going. We need God’s sustaining grace when we are tempted, tired and troubled. God knows our trials, tribulations. He knows when we are exhausted and tired. I have learned in my life that there are three types of trouble in this world. The type that blows you away like a tornado. The type that weighs you down like a sack of potatoes. And the type that pulls the rug out from under you. And no matter what type of trouble you run into — God’s will give you His sustaining grace. My motto verse is 1 Corinthians 15:10(a); “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
There is a song entitled, “Grace Greater Than All Our Sin. The chorus is, “Grace, grace, God’s grace. Grace that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace, God’s grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin.”
God’s grace will always get us through. Do you need God’s sustaining grace? Draw near to Christ and rely on His grace in every situation.
Milley Brewington is a guest columnist for The Sampson Independent.