Uncomfortable grace . . . Two words that do not seem to fit together. When we think of grace, we consider the free and unmerited favor of God, specifically focusing on His blessings to us. We focus on the gift in our salvation; thus, highlighting the ease on our part and forgetting the sacrifice that Jesus made for our salvation.
In this ministry at Alabama Baptist Children's Homes (ABCH), there are days we long for relief. We are on our feet for hours at a time teaching schoolwork, diffusing yet another argument, cleaning up another mess, doing another load of laundry. We just want to say, “God, do you really care?” We equate God’s faithfulness to His willingness to remove the difficulty. However, faith cannot grow and flourish in a life of ease and comfort. God will allow us into difficulties to transform our hearts when we become too resistant to change or become hardened to the reality of God’s power working within us. He loves us far too much to allow us to remain in patterns of self-sufficiency.
Jesus never stops caring for us. He wants us to be an instrument in His kingdom, not just a recipient. However, our faith must take root, become sturdy, and grow. We must be strong, bold, and courageous for His glory. We must remember that we are never alone; our lives have been “invaded by the grace and the glory of the I AM”, says author and speaker, Paul David Tripp. Too often, we become self-righteous in our own strength and wisdom and we need the difficulties to transform us to see God’s glory. Paul David Tripp states, “God will take you where you haven't intended to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own.”
So often, we dwell on the current struggles we are in by meditating on every detail of the problem and ways we could make the difficulty cease. We try to deny that we are in a struggle at all. However, God desires honesty from the deepest part of us and wants us to cling to His promises. Peace in times of trouble begins with a strong foundation in scripture and knowing who God is. We must focus on who He is, remember that we are connected to God through Christ by grace, rest in the understanding that we truly take refuge in Christ, not in our own ability or understanding, for there will always be mystery in our lives and inability in our strength, and then act, according to His power.
There is a difference between amazement and faith. Amazement stands in awe of who God is, but faith is complete trust in who God says He is. Abraham believed God and his faith was, “counted to him as righteousness (Romans 4:22).” Are we willing to walk through the hardships, “so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7)”? Let Jesus walk you through uncomfortable grace that you might see His beauty in the sacrifice.
This staff devotional was written by Melanie Lee, House Parent in Decatur.