Friday, July 14, 2017

Grace in Time of Need

Free stock photo of nature, bird, animal, beak

Have you ever been stuck in an elevator, buried alive, locked in a bathroom or closet, stuck in a car during an accident, caught in a dead-end job or relationship, paralyzed or bed-ridden, trapped in a room on fire, restricted or tied up by another person, physically abused, or restrained from movement in some other way?

I have; and the helpless feeling is unbelievably horrific. After this/these experiences, we never want to trust life again. We want to live in an indestructible bubble and roll through life unhindered.

Unfortunately, life does not roll like this. Jesus promises that due to sin in this world, we are guaranteed to suffer persecution and trials. The Biblical authors advise us to count tribulation as a joyous occasion; but this is not the normal human response.

Instead, we fight to stay safe, to escape these traps, to shorten our exposure to danger, to quickly resolve this harrowing experience and to make it possible for life to return to balance and normalcy as quickly as possible.

After an experience where we are hindered in some way, we devise a fail-proof plan to keep us safe and free from helplessness. We use every ounce of our human wisdom and resources to make this possible and for our plan to succeed.

Yet, life happens. Danger and destruction abound all around us. People say that unfortunate experiences come in threes. Many of us turn cynical and critical and are control-freaks due to life's disappointments; but these techniques rarely keep us any safer.

Calling on the name of the Lord, repenting of our sins, surrendering our life to God's control and submitting to the direction of His Holy Spirit moment by moment throughout the day is the only way we can live in a semblance of peace and joy in this world. God gives us His grace in our times of need.

Father God, we cast all of our anxiety on You (1 Peter 5:7). You are our peace; You have broken down every wall (Ephesians 2:14); we walk in the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We approach You confidently, because You give us Your grace and mercy in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16). We sing of Your mercies forever (Psalm 89:1).

Your peace guards our heart and mind, and we rise above our human understanding through every ordeal we face (Philippians 4:7). When we promote peace with our thoughts, words and actions, You give us Your joy along with it (Proverbs 12:20). Take pleasure in us, and make everyone, even our enemies, to live in peace with us (Proverbs 16:17).

Thought for the Day:
We do not attempt to ignore or to deny the bad times, but we rejoice in the Lord who walks with us and in us through each one of them.

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