Grace is given to us because it gloriﬁes God to do so, not because we are deserving, special, or worthy. Have you ever thought about what a marvelous thing it is that God chooses to bring Himself glory by saving us?
John Piper says, “Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon. Therefore, the effort we make to obey God is not an effort done in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies.”
God demonstrates grace to us because He is holy and cannot tolerate our sinfulness. I have written before that in the Bible you don’t read about the cherubim and seraphim surrounding the throne of God and saying, “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful” or, “faithful, faithful, faithful.” They say, “holy, holy, holy” when speaking of God. He is a holy God and we would be foolish to think that sinfulness on any level is acceptable to God.
Our unholiness demanded a stiff redemptive price – the blood of Christ. Our unholiness is the reason we need grace unto salvation. We are completely and totally unworthy of what we have received. It is in seeing our unworthiness that we can begin to have a glimpse of just exactly why we are to demonstrate grace to those who have hurt us so deeply.
In those painful relationships when we show grace to those who don’t deserve it, it is important to realize it may not make one bit of difference in how we are treated by them and it may not change any manner of response by the offender.
What we will experience is freedom from bitterness. In spite of the rotten way we may continue to be treated, we will see God working in our lives as a result of responding in a Christ-like manner.
When helping others to understand this, make it a goal to help them to get their focus off “self” and onto what God is doing in their heart and life as they step out in faith and obedience to the call of Christ. Remind them the goal is not to end the suffering, but to glorify God as they are suffering.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufﬁciency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)
And He said to me, “My grace is sufﬁcient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
Grace is sufﬁcient. So many times I hear people say they don’t think they can do it – they can’t bear up under the strain or under the persecution. They tell me how weak they are, and I tell them to rejoice in that weakness! Because then they can really see that it is not them doing it – it is Christ! The grace of God is enough to carry them through! Grace is sufﬁcient, and it is enough. If it were not enough, God would have made a better provision.
I also have to remind myself that God’s grace will be present in abundance when I need it and not before. I cannot store up grace for a rainy day like I can my pennies; it will be sufﬁcient and not lacking anything in that moment.