Sometimes on my birthday, The Lord will give me a word to meditate and stand on for the new year of my life. It had been a couple of years since He gave me a word on my birthday, but this past June when I was celebrating my 28th birthday the Lord gave me the word GRACE. He had me to really meditate on the past few years of my life and everything that took place during those years. As I thought back on the last few years, He showed me that He gave me grace to walk through everything I walked through (good and bad) during those years. There were situations I didn’t think I could make it through, there were things He called me to do that I didn’t think I was ready or qualified for, there were seasons of having to wait for certain things, and I encountered people that were difficult to love and forgive. It was only because of His grace that I got to where I am today. It was only because of His grace that I didn’t fold under the pressure, give up, give in to fear, or hold hatred and unforgiveness in my heart. His hand of grace was upon me each step of the way. His grace enabled me to do what I couldn’t do in myself. His grace was with me in the past and it will continue to be with me for this year and the remaining years of my life.
GRACE is defined as unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration and sanctification; a virtue coming from God. God divinely assists us to walk through our portion in life. Think of all the responsibilities you have, all the hats you wear, your trials, and the season you are in now. At times life can get overwhelming and you may want to drop certain responsibilities or wonder how you’ll make it through certain things, but I want to encourage you through this blog post that God’s favor is with you to walk through it all. He has divinely favored you to be a student, wife, mother, caretaker, minister, or whatever other roles you play. He has divinely favored you to endure this waiting season, to pass this test, and walk through this trial. He has divinely favored you to love the specific people around you who seem difficult to love, to forgive those who have hurt you, and to be a help to those who need you. If He has called you to do something and you don’t think you are qualified, remember that He is the one who is going to do it through you.
Often times we think we carry the load of our own life, forgetting that it’s God who carries us. There have been so many times God had to remind me that I didn’t place myself where I am therefore the burden was never mine to carry. It’s so easy to forget that as a child of God, He ushers you to the season you are currently in. You are literally standing on His word in every season and when you are where God wants you, He will give you the favor you need (both material or spiritual) to be there and to THRIVE there. God never calls us to a place so that we can die off. He calls us to where we are so that we can grow and mature in Him. Peter had grace to walk on the water because Jesus gave him a word to come (Matt. 14:22-33). The only reason Peter began to sink was because he took his eyes off of Jesus. The only reason you’re sinking in your process is because you have taken your eyes off the One who called you and is able to sustain you. You have put your eyes on your own ability. You have begun to rely on yourself and your own strength instead of on God.
Grace enables us to live out this Christian walk. GRACE IS A GIFT! Without this gift, we can do nothing. Ephesians 4:7 says, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” We’ve all been given a measure (portion/quantity) of grace according to the plan that God has for us. So, for everything you’ve been through in your walk, are going through now, or will go through in the future, grace has already been given. God sees your future, He knows the plans that He has for you, the valleys you will walk through, and the mountains you will overtake. He’s already seen it all and has already given you what you need to get where He wants you to be. We often hear grace preached as just the forgiveness or covering of our sins, but it’s so much more than that. Within grace (that forgiveness) is a gift – the ability to overcome. It’s one thing to be forgiven, it’s another thing to be given the supernatural ability and POWER to walk in freedom and to do what God has called us to do. Christ didn’t just come to forgive our sins, He came to save us from the power (grip) of sin by gracing (favoring) us with His precious Holy Spirit. It’s His Holy Spirit that enables us to no longer be bound to our sinful nature. Titus 2:11-12 says that His grace teaches us to live righteously in this world. So, His grace is given not only to forgive but to teach and enable. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” This grace forgives us by covering our sins with the blood of Christ, but it goes further than that, it gives us power over our sin so that we are no longer mastered by it.
This grace also enables us to do the work of the Kingdom. Whatever God has called you to do in the Kingdom (in and out of the church), His grace gives you the special ability to do it. It’s not by your own might, it’s not even because you are gifted. Whatever spiritual gifts He has given you were even given by His grace. When we rely on His grace and not our own power when it comes to the work of the ministry, we can be so much more effective because His Spirit leads us. He also gives us grace for our sanctification process. The process of sanctification is not easy, it has its ups and downs, but God has given each of us a measure of grace to go through it and to be transformed into the person He has designed us to be. So, as you go through your process and God allows certain situations in your life (good or bad – in actuality, it’s all good even though it may not feel good) to make you, remember that He has given you grace to OVERCOME, to THRIVE and to SOAR! His grace is what brought you to Him and it’s what will keep you and see you through.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace is sufficient for you! Feeling unqualified to do something He has called you to? – His grace is sufficient. Afraid to step out on a word He gave you? – His grace is sufficient. Don’t think you can make it through this fire/season? – His grace is sufficient. Feel like giving up on ministry because it’s hard? – His grace is sufficient. Feel like you can’t juggle all the responsibilities in your life? His grace is sufficient. Feel like you can’t overcome a particular sin/lifestyle? – His grace is sufficient. Feel like you can’t endure this waiting process? – His grace is sufficient for you. Feel like giving up on your Christian walk altogether because it’s just too hard? – HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!! Rely on Him! He will keep and sustain you if you want to be kept. Don’t rely on your yourself, let His power rest upon you for every area of your life! None of us can boast in where we are today, it’s only because of God’s grace. I’ve gone through intense seasons in my walk where the fire was so great; I’ve gone through persecution, disappointment, I’ve missed God in certain areas, I’ve struggled back and forth with sin, I’ve been taunted by fear, worthlessness, and insecurity; I’ve felt unloved and unworthy of God and so much more. When I was going through those times (especially in the beginning of my walk), I honestly didn’t always think I’d make it through, I couldn’t see myself on the other side of those struggles. There were times I thought God was so disappointed with me and my unbelief that He would give up on me altogether. BUT BY HIS GRACE I pressed through those times and He kept me! I look back today and I KNOW it was only because of Him. God is so gracious to even let us see the other side of our struggle! He has every right to take us out but instead, He brings us through to OVERCOME! Oh, what a love!! Where would I be if not for His grace?? I can boast all the more in my weaknesses because I know where I am weak, His grace will be strong in me. Where I fall short, His Holy Spirit will divinely enable me to be VICTORIOUS!!! His POWER has rested upon me to get to where I am today, and He can do the same for you!
The other awesome thing about God’s grace is that He gives us favor to do what He has called us to do. You can rest assured that if you are in God’s will for your life and in this season, His grace will go before you. We see this with different people in the Bible. Noah was graced (given favor) to build the ark and endure being taunted by others for it because God told him to do it. David was graced to face Saul’s threats because that was the process of testing to kingship that God had for him. Joseph was graced to be betrayed by His brothers, thrown in prison and eventually promoted to a high position because that was the process and plan that God had for His life. Joseph didn’t come out bitter at the end because God gave him what he needed to endure, and he understood what God was doing; he came out with his heart unscathed by his process. I’m sure Joseph felt the pain of his process and questioned God at times, but in the end, he understood that that was the process God had for his life so that he could be used to help God’s people. Whatever God has for YOUR life, He has graced YOU for. Your process won’t be easy, but it will be possible. YOU HAVE HIS DIVINE FAVOR TO DO WHAT HE HAS CALLED YOU TO DO. We can try to do so many other things, but God’s favor will be seen most in those things that He has divinely called us to (this includes kingdom tasks, life accomplishments, and our particular process of being made). When I feel overwhelmed and unqualified to do certain things that God has given me to do in this season of my life, I remember that HE called me to it, I didn’t call or appoint myself. And He is the one who will enable me to do it. Even if I can’t see it in myself, I rely on His power. We’ll be surprised at the awesome things that God can do in and through our lives if we would just rely on Him and not on our own ability and power.
It’s not by our power, nor by our might, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) that we are who we are in Him and do what we do. Release yourself from the burden of doing it all in your own power and begin to rely on HIM. Your strength is not enough to keep and sustain you through this journey, your strength is not enough to help you overcome your struggles, you can literally only do it by HIS GRACE. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our whole salvation was based solely on His grace towards us, and not on our own works. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31, it says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” The Amplified Version says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; they will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not grow tired.” Even though this verse is talking about waiting on God, I believe that as we hope in, rely on, trust in, and wait on God, His grace is what will enable us to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint, and to mount on wings like eagles. HIS GRACE CAUSES US TO SOAR! It causes us to soar above every trial and test, soar over the power of sin and shame, soar in the area of love and forgiveness, soar in our roles in life, and SOAR AND THRIVE in the work He has called us to do for His Kingdom! His end goal is for us to overcome and walk in VICTORY in every area of our lives and to show forth His glory in His ability to keep us and transform us. He has given you grace to mount up on wings like eagles and SOAR!
A song that came to mind while writing this post is “If Not For Your Grace” by Israel and New Breed. You can listen to it here: If Not For Your Grace – by Israel and New Breed
It will bless you.