Grace is unconditional favor that floods your soul when you least expect it, favor that you didn’t earn and that you don’t need to earn. Realizing the power of grace has been the biggest factor that sped up my recovery this year in absolutely incredible ways. Recovery went from a stagnant, slowly moving pool, to a waterfall of lessons, grace, hardship, and victory!
Grace is truly a gift, a gift from God. It’s not something I’ve been good at showing myself in the past couple years. I had to realize God’s grace first, to look at God, and realize just what grace actually means for you and for me Do you ever just kind of stand back and look at life and think, ‘Wow, I’ve been given so much grace, I don’t even know how to express my gratefulness?’
2016 was a year of truly realizing God’s grace. I grew up singing, ‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…’ But I’m not sure I can that I really knew what God’s grace to me was.
Romans 5 has been a really powerful passage for me as I’ve learned the power of God’s grace this year. I never tire of these verses… ‘
‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.’
Without strength. That means that this life I’m living now isn’t:
Dependent on Me
Not because of me
and I won’t lose this life either, because it’s a gift, a gift from God.
That grace that God showed through His Son Jesus isn’t something I can repay. For years I struggled with realizing that I didn’t have to:
Weight a Certain Amount
Eat a Certain Amount of Calories
or even be the most
Perfect Older Sister ever.
There were 5 lessons I learned this year about the power of God’s grace in spite of me:
These lessons affected: My Recovery, My Weight, My Eating, My Emotions, My Instances of Depression and Anxiety, My Fear of what others think of me all in a hugely positive way, so much so, that I can’t begin to express how much God has changed me.
1) God’s grace is not dependent on what we do. – God’s grace is unconditional. He knew that we couldn’t fulfill the conditions that we needed to in order to be pure, holy, perfect to be His children. So He sent Jesus Christ, to take the condemnation, so that we could be SET FREE, free to be walking in grace, loving God’s law, and obeying Him like a child does their father or mother.
2) No matter how HARD YOU TRY. – God saved you. You didn’t find God and tell Him to save you. It was all JESUS, so that you would only glory in the Lord, not yourself.
‘ That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 1:29-31)
3) You were once a stranger from God. But God’s GRACE through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for you on that cross, makes you a friend of God. – And that is a friendship that can ABSOLUTELY never be broken.
4) Jesus Christ didn’t die for me so I could save myself. He died for the wretched, hopeless, dead sinner that I was. He had COMPASSION on me. – That means that I can stop trying to paint a picture of who I’m not, a ‘perfect sinless person’ because I’m not. I need Jesus Christ desperately, and it’s in Him that I am totally at peace with God, myself, and others.
5) This is who you were, but you are not that now. The kindness of God IS for sure. The kindness of God does not change like men and women’s kindness. If you are in His home, you will always be in His home, no matter what your feelings say, no matter what the devil tries to say in your head. – This means that I don’t talk about the good things I did today, but I just live as His child. I walk, breathe in the new air of Christ Jesus, the new air of His life. He is my life. I don’t have to TRY to be God’s child, because I am God’s child.
‘For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:3-7)
So I would encourage you:
Through the fog of recovery, look for the LIGHT of God’s grace.
1) Be Kind to your body. God made it. It is okay to care for it, to treat it as a precious, beautiful creation of God. God has been kind to you, so don’t beat the body that He has given you.
2) Be Kind to your emotions. Don’t beat them up or get cynical. Instead read God’s Word about His kindness, His love, His justice, His mercy, His truth, His unchangeableness. – This will comfort your soul.
3) Be Kind to your eating habits this year. Rest in God’s grace; remember that you don’t work your way into God’s favor. God adopts you because He loves you. He gives you the faith to believe. – And He will never let you go. You won’t ever have what others might consider to be the ‘perfect’ way of eating, but if you’re thankful to God for His gifts, that is the primary thing!
4) Be Kind to others. God has shown you so much grace and kindness. Can we be kind to others? Can we turn a deaf ear when they try to offend us? There was no greater offense than man’s rebellion against God.
Yet God came down to those who hated Him and said, ‘I’m going to save you.’ And that is what Jesus Christ, Son of God, God come in the flesh, came to do. It’s a glorious mystery of grace that truly bears a life of wonder and an eternity of praise to our Almighty King!
I’m linking up with Heather today, because this is my absolute ‘Friday Favorite’ lesson from 2016. 🙂 I’m also linking up with Meg and the other gals and guys because this is my ‘Year in Review of Recovery’ and how I’ve changed. <3