Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grace in Our Time of Need, Part 1: God's Joy

It’s been awhile since I told our story or gave an update. A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk for a women’s retreat, and several people have asked to see it, so I’m going to do a series of posts over the next week or two. I guess you could call this my personal testimony of God’s grace to us in a life-changing circumstance that I never would have asked for!

But first I thought I’d tell a cute story about grace. One day when my kids were about 5 & 7, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I had a headache, I didn’t want to face the day, I was a total grump. I had been teaching my kids about grace and how we can help each other, and this particular morning I let my kids know that I just didn’t feel good and didn’t have energy for anything. I sent them to do some chores while I was working upstairs. I came across them 5 or 10 minutes later, both doing extra work, each having independently decided that *Mom* needed some grace that day. And they were right--*I* was the one having trouble meeting the standard! Their grace to me gave me such a huge boost that I had extra energy all of a sudden, put some of their clothes away and cleaned out their dressers for them.

God’s grace is amazing. It changes us—Titus 2:12, one of my favorite verses says that grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly pleasures. Grace is contagious—when we share it with others, they want to share it too. And grace is what brings us through the hard times, isn’t it? When we just don’t think we can deal with anything more, God somehow gives us His strength to continue on.

Most of us probably have some hurt, some painful trial, present or past. You may feel trapped, like you have no choices—you may be suffering under a burden of false guilt or other negative thoughts—or you may feel that no one is watching out for your needs. In Hebrews 4:16, God tells us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Let’s pray.
“God, we thank you and praise you that you are with us. May we see you today. Fill us with the joy of your presence. Give us a desire, a longing to seek you more and more in every way, to cry out to you, and know that you are the best and only thing we have. Our rock, our strength, our security, our hope, our stronghold. Teach us, Lord, to be honest with you, to submit to you and to allow your grace to transform our hearts. In the name of our precious Lord Jesus, who for the joy set before Him shed His blood. Amen.”

Isn’t that amazing? Do you ever think about what God’s joy was, what made Him willing to die on the cross? It’s a relationship with us, that’s His joy.

Take a few moments this morning to bask in the sunshine of God’s joy—to calm your mind and soul, put aside the busy-ness of life for a few minutes, and remember He takes joy in you. Next time, Part 2: God’s Silence

Grace in Our Time of Need, other posts:

~Part 1:  God's Joy
~Part 2:  God's Silence
~Part 3:  Can I Still Be Your God? 
~Part 4:  Lies and Truth
~Part 5:  God's Protection
~Part 6:  God Hears

See also Stories of Hope

1 comment:

Andi said...

How sweet of your kids! What a great reminder. Thank God for grace!