If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, chances are you have struggled with frustrating habits or been disappointed by failures.
However, once you have a revelation of God’s grace in your life, it changes everything. What is grace?
First, think of a problem you’re having in your life right now—a bad habit, conflict in a relationship, a particularly long and difficult period of testing.
Now I want to ask you: Have you been trying to make things work out? If so, have they? Or are you discouraged, disappointed, or frustrated?
If you’re “spinning your wheels,” seemingly getting nowhere on your own, I’ve been there! And you are in the best place to realize just how amazing God’s grace really is.
It’s Not About “Trying”
You see, grace is the power to overcome bad habits, to make peace in a relationship, or to bring you victoriously through a time of testing—without all your trying.
That’s because grace is God’s power, not ours, that overcome all of these things.
All our trying does is cause frustration. We can never make ourselves better by trying…praying more or longer, studying more of the Word, performing good works, etc.
Don’t get me wrong…it’s not bad to do any of these things. In fact, it’s good. It’s just that doing them in God’s power is the only way those things will have any real and lasting effect in our lives.
The interesting thing about trying is that it’s not scriptural. Yes, the word is in the Bible. However, it’s never there to tell us we need to do better or be better.
If you look it up, you’ll see that when that word is used, it’s in reference to the “trying” of our faith, “trying” the spirits, or “trying” us to prove our character.
However, all of our trying is really just human effort that can never bring about the change in us that only God’s power—His grace—can.
It’s certainly not wrong to want to be a better person. God gave us that desire. But according to Galatians 3:10, ...anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure (MSG).
That’s why so much of the time we will find ourselves frustrated, disappointed and overwhelmed by the “stuff” in our lives. We try to work it out on our own.
He’s Just Waiting for You to Ask
God loves us and wants to help us—we are His children. But He will not force His help on us at any time.
He sees us when we struggle, and I believe it breaks His heart...because all we have to do is ask Him for help!
God taught me this truth in a way I’ll never forget...
My husband, Dave, is tall...and I’m not so tall. Several years back, we used to have a really high window over the kitchen sink in our house. When that window was open, there was no way for me to close it without going to extreme measures.
So, how do you think it would make Dave feel if I ran out of the house to go ask the man next door to come and close that window for me?
Or what if I tried to do it myself—straining, stretching, climbing up on the counter and knocking things over and getting all worn-out—while Dave was sitting right there? That would really be insulting to him.
In the same way, it grieves God to watch us struggle so needlessly, when all the while, He is right there waiting for us to simply exchange trying for trusting.
His grace is the power to live an abundant life. Our faith receives, not “buys,” the blessings of God. Striving, struggling, and trying can never do that.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that 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 (NIV).
So, in the same way we received Christ, we also live in the Spirit—by God’s grace, through faith.
It’s really so simple that we usually miss it. We simply need to humble ourselves, ask for God’s help, then do what He says.
And as we are faithful to do what we can do, God will be faithful to pour out His grace and do what we can’t do. And that is simply amazing.