A few weeks ago, a friend and I were texting back and forth concerning a difficult family situation she found herself in. After encouraging her heart to trust the Lord and follow Biblical principles, I received her text that read something like this. . .”Thanks for your help. It’s all such a struggle. It just makes me long so for Heaven.”
Don’t we all feel this way at times if we are honest? The struggles of this life threaten to overwhelm us. We get tired of fighting the battles of faith day in and day out. We long for the day when it’s not so hard anymore to obey the Word and submit our fleshly desires to His.
I understand why she made this comment. Many times we are locked into extremely difficult situations, we are dealing with hurtful relationships, and we feel we are sinking under the daily pressures of life. I find myself often longing for Christ’s return and the hope of Heaven where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)
While it’s not wrong to think of Heaven and long for our future hope (Christ tells us to “set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth”- Col. 3:2), we must remind our hearts to live in the grace He gives us for now. We must not miss the opportunities for grace that God offers to us in this present life.
The book of Ephesians is probably one of my top favorites in the New Testament. I find myself often returning to its truths to encourage my heart. Ephesians 2:4-10 says “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Jesus Christ, in His great love and grace for me and you, has made us alive together with Christ now! We are raised up with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus now! So that, “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7-Message)
God’s grace is for the present and future! It is for now and later!
These verses just leaped off the page to speak into my life for now! It is the intention of God that I experience the fullness of His grace in this present world (now) and in the next (future)! I have been created to walk in His good works now!
I don’t want to miss the showers of His grace and kindness in my life today. So I must intentionally listen for His “whispers of grace” and count my “1,000 gift’s” now!
Titus 2:11-13 further reminds our hearts that “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Because of Jesus, our salvation, we must live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives now as we are waiting for our hope of His appearing! It is His present grace that enables us to live for Jesus now! “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.(2 Cor. 9:8)
Our present world (our now) is never going to be struggle free or stress-less. We live in a broken and sinful world. You and and I are broken and sinful creatures.
However, we are graced every day in Jesus Christ! In His love, He planned for us to experience and to be showered with His grace and kindness in the midst of our broken and messy! Engaging fully in the present (our now) is only possible and doable because of Him and through His grace. “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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
And with our eyes fixed on our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, we are able to walk now in the good works we were created for! Good works in the present age!
Maybe your heart (and mine) needed to be reminded today to focus on His daily whispers of grace (now). Many days I find it is not only “whispers of grace” that He sends my way, but “showers of grace.” He is a God of abundance! “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
Let us not get too distracted and longing for the future hope that we miss the present grace! Let us walk now in the good works He has created us for. . . resting in His grace and kindness.
“God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7- Message)
What are the “whispers of grace” He is sending your way now? I would love for you to comment and share!