What lies you say. I find my self lying to myself. Lie’s like “It doesn’t hurt anyone to do this sin”,”she is saying I am an idiot” or “they hate me”. My mind and satan’s lies are real to be sure but they are not always the truth. God is working on me. He has an end in mind and is refining me to be His man. I feel it and it hurts but it is a good feeling too. I know that God is not making me suffer needlessly. Relationships are the hardest part of this refining. I have betrayed trusts, crushed hearts and humiliated my closest friends and family. These relationships may never heal or be the same. I am trusting God in these relationships and I know that God is never wasteful. God is working in the hearts of my friends and family to refine them to give Him glory and honor. To help me not buy the lies I need to remember who I am. I am His and He is mine. I deserve nothing but was given everything. I am loved by the Father and my worth is found in Him.
Recently a friend went to a man he respected with a point of disagreement. My friend went to this man expecting to be received with grace and be able to discuss this disagreement but instead he was met with ambivalence. When I first heard this account I was frustrated with the lack of grace extended my friend and wanted to deal with the sin of not giving grace. Then sovereign circumstances turned it around on me and is now asking me to deal with how do I deal with not being given grace in a situation.
The first reaction to the lack of grace is frustration and outrage. I mean I deserve a little grace here, right? The next feeling is hurt, I feel that the person doesn’t care about me and that hurts. These feelings are real and could fuel more sin into our lives if we don’t put them in perspective. So what do we do when grace doesn’t show up? Trust in God’s grace and rest in your identity in Christ. This is not as easy as it sounds as most of us do really care about how others view us. Check these verses out. Prov. 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Ps 112:7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. The reality is that God has your back and while my frustration and hurt is real God still loves and delights in me. We can take that to the bank. God never fails us He always shows up.
As I thought about the title of this post I feel like a hypocrite. I deny Christ on a daily basis. I deny Him by my personal behavior, my thoughts and my silence. I lack the confidence in Christ that I say I desire. I say that I say because if I am being really honest with myself I don’t even really desire spiritual things. I am selfish and self-absorbed. I am not a good friend, father, husband or Christian. I am not pity-partying here. I am stating the facts. Grace…Grace…Grace, even in forgiveness I screw it up. I deny Christ by wallowing in my sin, I feel like I need to mourn over my sin for a while, like penance. Grace…Grace…Grace, I want to live with a Grace perspective. Wow, what would that be like. Relationships would be transformed. My family would be transformed. Grace compels love. my life needs love. I am so not loving it is embarrassing. Grace… Grace… Grace, now rest in it. This love takes a lifetime to internalize. Have you ever met a Christian that has lived a long time as a Christian and seen the confidence they have in Christ. It is beautiful and really cool to see that they have no problem sharing their faith and worry seems to be non-existent. They walk in belief of the Gospel. I still struggle with my unbelief. Grace… Grace… Grace, I write the word three time because I am just overwhelmed by the implications of it all and one time just isn’t enough time to fathom the meaning of the word. GRACE!
At church today I was struck how much I really enjoy worship. While worshiping I really see my sin. I don’t deserve to worship. I am broken by it and I it crushes me that God still loves me. Why God loves me I will never know. Grace sweet grace I need His grace. As the Holy Spirit works in my heart I am convicted by my sin. I find that when I really see God, like through worship I really see how disgusting I really am.