Grace? What is grace? Grace is the kind behavior shown to us when we do not deserve it. The most amazing grace is God's grace which we are told is sufficient for our needs (2 Cor. 12: 7-10, Gal. 1: 15). Man is saved by grace, the heart is established by grace, and we are justified by grace (Eph. 2: 5, 8, Heb. 13: 9, Tit. 3: 7). All this is God's part.
Faith on the other hand is our responsibility. John 6:29 tells us that faith or belief itself is a work. In other words, it is active and obedient (James 2: 19-26). What happens when we have been active and/or obedient and things still are happening as we thought they should?Sometimes we just do not have the answers. Remember Lucy Ricardo? She always found that her well meant solutions to solving her problems usually resulted in less favorable answers. More times than not her problems were magnified. I know that circumstances and situations regardless the cause can bring us to the place that we do not know how we can move on - our faith becomes weak and we feel hopeless.
Not so long ago I found myself in a seemingly hopeless situation. I was depressed to say the least. The kind of depressed that causes me to migrate to my chair, curl up in my fetal position, wrap myself in a blanket as well as all the other things that brought me to that position. It is horrible, it is sick, and I hate it. What does hopeless and depression look like? The director of Lord of the Rings, knew what a hopeless, depressed state looks like. SMEAGOL/GOLLUM. If you are not familiar with them, then watch this clip. (not s0 pretty)
You know, Satan would have me and you remain in such a desperate state. BUT then I looked up and I saw a candle holder with the etching, HOPE. It hit me that I was acting as a person without hope. It was hope that I needed. At that moment I heard the voice of my heavenly Father speak oh so softly to me, yes God still speaks to people. "Patsy, 'Be STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD.' " "I AM your HOPE." I felt a feeling of peace come over me. Did my circumstances change? No. However, I was once again reminded that I cannot be God, for myself or those in my life, and no human can give me that which only God can provide. As I sought God and focused on him I was able to approach the situation with hope.
There is a prayer I often quote, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time...Enjoying one moment at a time; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him, Forever in the next. Amen."
There is much truth to this prayer, for there are some things we cannot do alone, we must turn it over to God. Seek his presence and allow Him to work out the way. I have a song that I sing, "In the Presence of Jehovah." If you want to hear it, Chonda Pierce can sing it for you.
Each time that I have felt discouraged in the past, that God's grace was just not enough, I realized that the problem was not God's grace but that I had moved to far away from Him to feel his presence. Even though, I am slower at times than others in returning, I now know to move back into His presence, and there I will again find that His Grace is sufficient for my needs, and in the process He will restore my hope. To all the Lucy's out there: Your hope is in the Lord.
How has God spoken to you during a hopeless situation? Will you share your story?