This post is for a series on the theme "Enough!" The series will continue in about a week, after some offline time with family.
Grace may be either a noun ("unmerited or unearned favor or good will") or a verb ("to lend honor to by one's presence").
We might be inclined to think of our all-present, all-loving God as infinite in grace. But the Bible defines clear limits to both His favor and the manifestation of His presence. Numerous passages refer to either God hiding His presence, or His face (Deuteronomy 31:17-18; Micah 3:4; Psalm 104:29). The Bible also describes situations when God, in His displeasure, does not heed prayer (1 Peter 3:7; Deuteronomy 3:26; Psalm 66:18). Sometimes God disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:5-11), and His grace merely seems ungracious.
And sometimes, the Lord has simply had enough and withdraws His grace.
"And now, because you have done all these works," says the LORD, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer … I will cast you out of My sight …"
~ Jeremiah 7:13,15 (NKJV)
We know Hell is real, for Jesus both spoke of it and paid the ultimate price in order to release us from its claim upon us. Hell is the ultimate and final removal of grace, the residence of those who have cared nothing for the Lord's presence and found no joy or gratitude in His abundant favor.
O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
~ Psalm 30:3-5 (NKJV)
How often do God's own people fail to find joy or express gratitude for His grace because we become preoccupied with trials? Faith is proved not only in our response to blessings but especially as we go through the trials which reveal what we count most important.
A closing thought: If we think we've reached the place of "Enough grace!" with one another, we can draw upon grace received for grace to give. God alone can make such a call, because He alone pours out more grace than He receives.
Lord God, please forgive me for thinking I've reached the end of grace to supply. Thank you for making me Yours, toward whom Your "favor is for life." Please remind me that Your anger and my weeping are a fleeting moment. You have kept me alive—forever shall I praise You!
Comments are welcome (including respectful disagreement). Comments to this post will receive a reply next week.
You may also contact author via e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com
Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
- ► 2013 (25)
- ▼ 2012 (90)
- ► 2011 (177)
- ► 2010 (216)
- ► 2009 (369)