The Sufficiency Of Grace- Making It Through The Valleys

Making it through the valleys

HOTAs with a lot of people we are in the middle of a heat wave here in Fresno. But unlike most people, I do not have air conditioning at my current clients place of business. So yesterday was 109 degrees Fahrenheit  today will be 110 degrees  and tomorrow is going to be 111 degrees , 110 the next day until we dip down to the polar 105  on Sunday

Now being a dweller of the central valley of California I am used to the heat, and  it is thankfully dry heat  but working with no A/C in a 110 degree heat is just a little too much for me and I am ready to throw in the towel….but I can’t. So I am going to need the sufficiency of the grace of God.

We know grace is what saves us, the unmerited favor of God, but it is also grace that helps us, when we can’t do it ourselves

2 Cor 12:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

mountainIn life we face valleys, on our way to the mountain of God, and these can seem very daunting.  The gap between what we can accomplish and what needs to be accomplished can seem overwhelming. But Grace is that gap filler. God’s loving grace provides us with HIS strength and HIS ability to go through those valleys and rise upon the mountain. His Grace is enough.   We may not like the trial we are going through, it may be painful and sorrowful, but there are purposes for this.  It keeps us reliant on the grace of God, walking in faith growing and maturing.

God does not promise we will not have to go through valleys, but He does promise to help us through.  So don’t hesitate to call on in times of need. He is waiting to perform miracles for you.

He loves you.

 

A Prize In Every Box

cerealkidWhen I was a kid and was allowed to choose the cereal we would eat that week, I haunted the cereal aisle looking for the best prize inside. After all the cereals were pretty much the same, sweet corn  or wheat in funny shapes, sometimes with marshmallows.  But the prize….that was it.  And if the prize was good enough I would even choose a cereal I didn’t like.

Then we would take it home and play Russian Roulette with the cereal box until the prize plopped out in someones bowl… If the magic “dibs” phrase hadn’t been invoked  yet.
cracjerjack

I really enjoyed Cracker Jacks because we each got our own box and the prize was all mine. Whether it was temporary tattoos, or a cheap plastic ring it was all mine. And I almost did not enjoy eating the cracker jacks until I got it. Imagine all that yumminess going unappreciated 

 

So what has this all got to do with Christianity?  Our salvation has a prize.  Never forget when we are slogging through the tasteless bowls of cereal we call life, there is a prize, a hope that we are waiting for. And we are going through all of this….to get the prize.

Now sometimes the cereal (life) is sweet, and sometimes its just down right nasty, but we are working for the prize.  I would encourage us all to find what I call ” the islands of happiness in a sea of troubles” as we go through life, enjoy the happy moments while you can, embrace them and they will get you through the troubled sea in between.  But never forget that the real prize is yet to come and that is what we truly have to hold on to. Never forgetting that the grace of God is there to hold us until that day comes.

Revelation 21

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

This is our prize.  The hope of our calling

Ephesians 1:

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Never forget you are a child of God and when you have run the race, finished the course and set aside this brutal  mortal coil, you will hear the words:

Matthew 25

21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

So take heart children of God and be faithful. This life maybe as nice as bowl of honey nut cheerios or as hard as cold grits,   but there is a prize awaiting us.   There will be a day…