Grace on the move.
Grace in motion.
These are the new “names” given to me by my husband, my brothers, and a dear Sista. I hope my niece, Gracie, would not mind me sharing her name.
Any of them could have been the title for today’s blog post. But I chose “I Got To Know Him In A Better Way.” Inspired by Donnie McClurkin’s song: “Who Would Have Thought,” after I read some of the comments I received by email in response to my last blog post. The only response I can give is that I got to know God in a better way through the things I suffered—through my trials, challenges and difficult circumstances.
I got to know His rich and abounding grace. His grace strengthened me. Grace kept me through the thick and the thin. Grace sustained me. I could have been dead and gone but grace kept me alive, and made me a living testimony. Grace kept me smiling and cheerful through pain and distress. Grace held my head up when the natural reaction would have been to stay bowed down in sorrow and disappointment.
Amazing grace kept abounding to me. Praise be to God Who causes ALL grace to abound to us, that we having ALL sufficiency in ALL things, may abound unto every good work (2Cor. 9:8). Grace is God stooping down to reach out to us at our point of need. He is the God of all grace. After we have suffered for a little while, He will Himself restore us, making us strong, steadfast and firm (1Pet. 5:10).
The grace of God within us enables us to labour more efficiently and abundantly for God. Grace fulfils a purpose in us and it enables us fulfil purpose and destiny.
The ALL sufficient grace of God is available to everyone who is a Christian.
“The grace of God is the favour of God bestowed to man who does not deserve this favour”
– Harold L. White
As grace abounded in Christ and He went about doing good works, so also can the superabundant grace of God abound in our lives to do exploits for God and to bring about change in our situation, if we open our hearts to receive it even in our challenging circumstances.
You can only appreciate the import of grace when you are in dire need of the supernatural ability to live above your circumstances and the challenges besetting you. This brings me to the crux of today’s message.
“Grace abounds like an ever flowing stream in the valley of adversity”
Hardships, trials and challenges will come to us at one time or the other in the course of our lifetime, if we are true sons of God. We must view them as God disciplining, correcting, pruning and refining us because of His love for us. We must need be assured that His grace is available to us to see us through them all.
Divine disciple is an evidence of divine love.
The Bible is replete with examples of many servants of God who endured hardships and we can see the outcomes of it as they were made strong to do exploits for God. Jesus endured the cross. Consider for a moment what He had to endure – the shame of the cross, separation from His Father, bitter hostility, grievous opposition from sinners and His visage was marred beyond recognition (Is. 52:14).
In considering what Jesus endured by going to the cross to die for our sins, we will not loose heart or grow weary as we run our own race and walk the path set before us.
Some of Paul’s letters to the churches were written while he was in the prison. He bore a thorn in his flesh, he was never married, he was imprisoned, placed under house arrest, shipwrecked and finally martyred under Nero’s reign. But he wrote 13 Epistles which are still giving us divine direction till today.
Many of the hymns and songs we love to sing were composed following challenging circumstances in the lives of the composers:
- “It Is Well With My Soul” was penned by Horatio Spafford after traumatic events in his life. The 1871 Great Chicago Fire ruined him financially. In 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters to England ahead of him. While crossing the Atlantic, their ship sank after collision with another vessel. All the four daughters died. His wife was saved alone. The hymn was inspired as Horatio passed the spot where the ship sank and his daughters were killed (Wikipedia).
- This song is still touching lives and grieving hearts till today, more than a century later. Who would have thought? Please take time to meditate on the lyrics at this link, http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/t/i/itiswell.htm. These lines stood out for me:
- “Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
- “Whatever my lot (my challenges or difficult circumstances), Thou has taught me to say; it is well, it is well, with my soul” (emphasis mine).
- “His Eye Is On The Sparrows” – This song was composed following the visit of Civilla Martin and her husband to Mr and Mrs Doolittle in 1905. Mrs Doolittle had been bedridden for near 20 years. Mr Doolittle was an incurable cripple who propel himself on the wheelchair in order to conduct his business. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. When the couple were asked the secret of their bright hopefulness, Mrs Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith inspired this much loved hymn (Wikipedia).
Why should I be discouraged…. When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He.
- Andrea Crouch sang “Through It All.” In this song you will find such lines like
- I have had many tears and sorrows
- But in every situation, God gave a blessed consolation, that my trials came only to make me strong.
- Through it all I’ve learnt to trust in Jesus, to trust in God, to depend on His Word
- He surely got to know God in a better way because in his lonely hours Jesus let him know that he belongs to Him.
- He lost his father, mother and older brother in the space of one year in 1993 / 94 (Wikipedia). He certainly had his share of sorrow and challenges.
See full lyrics at http://www.elyrics.net/read/a/andrae-crouch-lyrics/through-it-all-lyrics.html
We become more creative in our times of personal challenges and difficulties if we will open our hearts to receive God’s abounding grace available to us.
I also can testify that through it all I have got to know God in a better way, to trust in Jesus, and depend on His Word and His sustaining grace. After 118 days in three hospitals, I certainly know more of God than I did before that one phone call on April 13th. I have a richer experience of God as a strong deliverer because of all I went through during this period. I know for sure that Jesus cares for me. I have been pruned and refined, and the process is still ongoing. My testimony is richer. I know what it means to be sustained by grace.
There is so much more I want to write about enduring hardships and the abounding grace available to see us through them. This space is just not enough to do justice to the subject. I do encourage you to study Heb 12. Verse 15 says no one is to miss the grace of God. This grace of God changes lives.
“…Don’t be conscious of (or focus on) what you are lacking (or in need of). Be conscious of (or focused on) God’s superabundant grace for you and avail yourself of it” – JosephPrince.com (emphasis mine)
I am grace in motion.
I am grace on the move.
I am graced for good works and to do exploits for God.
As I prepare to return back home on Friday, August 9th, I know that grace brought me this far and grace will lead me on. I am in awe of God. He is been good to me. Words fail me to express my gratitude to Him.
Thank you all for standing with us through out this period of our lives. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support. My husband, sons and I give thanks and praise to God for blessing our lives with such a great family and circle of friends.
I share with you my special song for thanksgiving – Living Testimony