Finding Rock-Solid Grace in Life's Hard Places
- Monday, November 10, 2008
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of L.L. Barkat's new book, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places, (InterVarsity Press, 2008).
You may cut your feet and feel pain whenever you walk through life’s hard, broken places. But God’s grace is rock solid, and when you hold onto it, you can walk through anything and emerge stronger from the journey.
Here's how you can find the rock of God's grace in the midst of the hard, broken places in your life:
Grace for conversion: God will give you all the grace you need for every part of your spiritual journey. His grace can redeem your past, challenge your present, and shape your vision for the future.
Grace for shame: You can come to God just as you are, no matter what you’ve done. There’s no need to wait until you try to make things right in your life or feel better about yourself. Approach God now, and He will make things right in your life and shower you with love.
Grace for messiness: Life in this fallen world is bound to be messy for everyone. Accept the circumstances you can’t change, and look beyond them to God. Place your hope in God and move forward trusting Him to transform your messes into beauty. Invite God to use the messes in your life to accomplish good purposes for you.
Grace for suffering: Whether your suffering is the result of your own bad choices or because of bad circumstances, God will redeem if you ask Him to do so. Let your suffering lead you closer to God. He knows what you’re going through, and He cares. God is willing to meet you in the midst of your suffering; and when He comes, He’ll bring grace with Him.
Grace for resistance: God’s grace will empower you to resist evil, however you encounter it. Remind yourself daily that Satan is real. Be aware of evil’s influence in your life, and be sure to put on the spiritual armor the Bible describes to fight it through prayer. You can be confident that, armed with God’s grace, you can win any battle with evil.
Grace for baptism: Just as water saturates you during baptism, God’s grace will flood your life, soaking every part of it. Don’t let your struggles and setbacks discourage you. Grace will reach into all of your experiences and flood them with hope.
Grace for doubt: God can handle your doubts. Go ahead and express them honestly to Him. Wrestle with God in prayer about your deepest doubts. Ask Him questions. Pour out your thoughts and feelings. In the process, He will meet you with His grace. Facing your doubts can ultimately lead to a stronger faith.
Grace for inclusion: Let your gratitude for God’s grace in your own life motivate you to reach out to other people who need God’s grace. Remember that God wants everyone to be included in the faith. Ask God to give you an open heart that shares His grace with others.
Grace for fear: God won’t always choose to protect you from the hardships you fear; sometimes He will allow you experience them. But you can count on the fact that God will be right beside you, loving and helping you, no matter what you go through. Pray for God’s grace to draw you onward and give you the courage you need.
Grace for love: God, in His grace, will take the broken pieces of your soul and lovingly give them back to you in the right way. He will love you deeply and unconditionally, and His love will compel Him to transform you when you come to Him.
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