To us, often God’s order looks like disorder, and his wisdom looks like foolishness. God’s lovingkindness often seems to be anything but loving, and definitely not kind. All of this has to do with one humbling thing that we all have to admit: as sinners, we want our own way. We want life to work according to our plan. We don’t want to have to face the unexpected or deal with disappointment. We want life to be smooth and predictable. And we want all of this because we are more concerned about our comfort and ease than we are about the processes of grace that are at work in us….
Life surprises us with the reality of who is king and how different his will and way are from ours. We have lived day after day, month after month and year after year in the world of our needs, our wants, and our dreams. We have nurtured the illusion that if God really does love us, he will give the things that we have determined are good to us….
We have convinced ourselves that if we obey, God will keep his part of the bargain and send “the good life” our way. We thought that if we parented well, then all of our children would turn out the way we hoped. We thought that if we worked faithfully then we would harvest the seeds of our investments in our later years. We thought that if we kept our bodies under subjection then the Lord would bless us with good health. We thought that if we followed the Lord in personal devotion and public worship and ministry, then our lives would be spiritually rich….
Could it be that you have prayed for grace, but that you don’t really like the grace that you have been given? Divine grace doesn’t always make your life simple or your pathway clear. God’s grace doesn’t always provide you with release or relief. God’s grace often brings you hardship, confusion, and surprises. These things are sent to you, not by a God who is messing with you because he’s more powerful than you, but from the hand of a God a glorious grace, who is exercising his power for the purpose of your transformation.
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