The Grace-Giver Gives and Gives and Gives Again

“He giveth and giveth and giveth again.”

Words I still hear in my mind from a cassette tape many years ago. Darlene Rose, a missionary in Papua New Guinea during and after WWII, suffered in a Japanese prison camp for four years and lived to testify of the power of God’s grace. Through torture, death threats, and her husband’s death in another prison, Darlene continued to place all her hope in Jesus. He was the Grace-Giver she constantly cried out to. And He repeatedly reminded her that His grace is sufficient. Not was. Not will be. But IS.

Through all our troubles in life, whatever they may be, we need and have the same Grace-Giver. When we’re sinking in the midst of troubles and losses, we can’t always see God in them. But often in hindsight, we can see He gives and gives and gives again. Far above what we ask or think, His limitless grace sustains us and makes it possible for us to survive.

A couple of weeks ago, triggered emotions of pain and betrayal ran deep and threatened to drown me.

I longed to walk in God’s creation, a place of rest God has often used to comfort me and remind me He is Almighty and still in control, but the air was too cold for me. Then God gave us a warmer day and I headed to one of my favorite areas on the bike trail.

As I walked, I asked God for a deer, but I quickly withdrew my request – “I’m so sorry, God, if I’m being unthankful. You already showed me a butterfly. Thank You!”

Several steps further, my heart stilled in awe. A deer! Thank You, Lord!

Jets thundered overhead, and she gracefully leaped over the brush into the safety of the woods nearby.

My heart, too, was longing for refuge from the thunder of my emotions. Oh, how I ached to leap into God’s arms.

I headed over the bridge and sat down on a bench and begged God to bring truth to light and to take my fear away. This heart-wrenching fear for victims of abuse.

“I am the Truth… I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” He whispered. He assured me that if I open my heart to be filled by Him who is Truth, I need not fear what happens. I just need to listen for the voice of Truth Himself who has the power to reach every single person in this world.

The lyrics of a song by Casting Crowns began to play in my heart and continued often through the coming days:

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory…”

Victims all over this world are silenced and not believed, afraid and devastated beyond what many can ever understand. But God who is Truth Himself remains and knows what’s true. He cares and understands us more than anyone ever will. He sees every single tear that falls, and He cries with us.

His unlimited grace pours out to hurting souls. This moment. Right now. No matter what we have lost. No matter how dark and lonely we feel. No matter what anyone thinks or says of us.

We may not always feel like His grace reaches us, but often in hindsight we see His steps of grace all along the way. Lighting our way in the dark, carrying us when we are too weak to walk on, and breathing hope into us when we feel like giving up.

Yes, the Grace-Giver gives and gives and gives again. He invites us to tap into His powerful love that heals us. And even when we waver and doubt, He still keeps giving us His strength to keep going. His grace IS sufficient. Not was. Not will be. But IS.

“But He said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9
“Jesus answered,
‘I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
John 14:6
“Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

“Voice of Truth”
by Casting Crowns

No Giant Is Too Big For God

god-is-greater

Do you sometimes feel like you are battling giants? Like you’re constantly retreating? Like you’re just too weary to fight anymore?

There can be so many giants in our lives, can’t there? I can’t begin to name them all, but two biggies for me this past week were discouragement and fear.

It’s hard not to be discouraged when the continuing battle of chronic illness gets me down. My body attracts bugs so easily, so I often catch the viruses flying around. They usually succeed to wreak havoc in my bronchial tubes. My husband came down with a nasty one the week before, and I begged God to please keep me from getting sick again. He had different plans. But even as I knew it was starting in my body, I felt God whispering, “My child, haven’t you asked me to deepen your trust in Me? Let go and surrender your way into My way of making it happen.” Sometimes God doesn’t give us our way, but He helps us to have peace with the plan He chooses.

Then there’s this year’s presidential election. Discouragement and fear looms in many hearts. Many have been belittled and trampled upon. Deep hurts remain in women, minorities, and the vulnerable like the handicapped, etc. People who need to be loved, respected, and accepted just as they are. People who need grace, support, and healing. People who are just as precious in God’s sight as the next person.

Our hearts may droop in discouragement and freeze with fear. But God is still in control of the giants in our way. We are never alone. We have God on our side, and He will never, ever fail or abandon us! So let’s keep moving forward, one step at a time. Remembering that God cares about each and every one of His unique creations.

What giants are looming over you and intimidating you? Taunting you with lies that victory is impossible? Blocking the way forward in the path God has chosen for you?

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
My enemies will retreat when I call to You for help.
This I know: God is on my side!”
Psalm 56:8-9

David said to the Philistine,
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,
but I come against you in the name of the Almighty,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45

“So be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.
For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

Lord, You are Almighty and You are still in control, no matter what happens in our hearts, our lives, our world. But oh, Lord, sometimes we get so discouraged, so worried, so afraid. We cry to You for help, because anything is possible with You. Help us to truly believe You have already gained the victory over the giants of sin and death and Satan, and no giant in our lives is too big for You. You know the giants in each of our hearts, some hidden from human eye, but never from You. Thank You for loving us so much and counting it a delight to care for us. Please remove all uncharitable thoughts from our hearts. Help us to treat others with love and kindness as You have treated us. Help us to trust in Your love and power and grant healing in each of hearts.

“Giants Fall”
by Francisca Battistelli

“Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be small
But watch the giants fall

We could really live like this
Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave
With childlike faith
Miracles could happen
Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face…”


brave

Signature

Prayer For Rest in God’s Rhythms of Grace

butterfly-rhythms-of-grace

“A life of holiness is lived in gratitude for the grace God has shown you.
Legalism looks at fulfilling the law, hoping to gain favor with God and men.”
~ Dan Milette

Prayer for Rest
In God’s Rhythms of Grace

Lord Jesus, I am so tired

so worn out, so weary of

legal chains that tell me

to do this or don’t do that

in order to gain

Your approval and favor

chains that bind me

and relentlessly tell me

that You are an

unforgiving God

That You are not

a God of love

and redemption

Teach me, Lord,

to surrender this yoke

that still makes me

a slave of legalism

rituals of “you should”

feeling guilty of

not doing enough

not being enough

not caring enough

I want to be joined

to Your yoke, Lord

Your yoke is padded

with love and grace

and You invite me

to willingly join You

to allow only You

to be my Savior

to allow only You

to carry my burdens

to allow only You

to lead me in this life

with Your unfathomable love

with Your unlimited power

with Your unconditional forgiveness

To walk along with You

with heart wide open

to learn from You

Your rhythms of grace

unforced and steady beats

of Your unearned love

and freely-given favor

I’m tired, Lord,

so worn out and weary

I surrender

all my striving

to make myself

acceptable to You

I rest within

Your beating heart

Teach me, my Lord,

to live unbound

by legalistic guilt

to live freely

to live lightly

to live triumphantly

giving only You

all the glory

for now and forever

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with Me and
you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened
[by religious rituals that provide no peace],
and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me
[following Me as My disciple],

for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.
For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 AMP

“For it is by grace
[God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ]
that you have been saved
[actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life]
through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves
[not through your own effort],
but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;”
Ephesians 2:8 AMP

“He has qualified us [making us sufficient]
as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ],
not of the letter [of a written code]
but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills
[by revealing sin and demanding obedience],
but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:6 AMP

A Child's Trust

“Rest In Me”
A Song of Hope and Encouragement
by Todd Vaters

cutecolorsplantline1

Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

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