Child of God, your Daddy wants you to know one really important thing. He is so proud of you! He sings over you with joy. He delights in you. Never lose sight of that fact. It is a gift of grace to you as His child.
Even though somewhere deep inside we know this, as humans we get so wrapped in our failures we can’t feel God’s grace. We are so afraid we are not pleasing Him that we lose sight of who He is in the first place. Let’s get this straight. God is grace.
There is nothing purer than the grace or the unmerited favor that flows from the heart of God to His children. The word grace has been used to mean something as broad as the whole of God’s activity towards man and as narrow as describing one aspect of that activity, according to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology.1
In other words, grace is synonymous with who God is—the vastness of God as well as the intimacy of His presence in our individual lives.
From the Beginning
It is the God of grace who created us. We were created in His image with intellect, emotions, a spirit to discern right from wrong and a free will to decide what we are going to do and not do.
Free will was a grace gift, but when we look at it with human eyes we can only see all the damage the free will of humanity has done. It happened right off with Cain following through with the willful choice to kill his brother (see Gen. 4:8).
God set up the ultimate training ground when He made us and put us here. He wanted us to learn how to make decisions. Free will was the only way. It’s in these physical bodies that we learn things we could learn no other way.
How Failure Helps Us
He could have just programmed us to perform. Instead He wanted us to learn how to make right choices. The only way to do that was to build into us the capacity for trial and error. Failure is how we learn best. We test a theory and see if it works. If it doesn’t, we change our approach and try it again.
In the process of doing this we sometimes mess up really badly. I’m the best example I know of this. I failed so many times that I never thought I’d get back up again. That last time was in 1998 when I weighed 430 pounds and the cardiac surgeon told me I only had five years to live if I didn’t lose weight.
I didn’t want to die, but it looked like it was my only option. I’d failed at losing weight and keeping it off too many times. I wanted to live, but I wanted to eat foods made with sugar and flour too. I was free to choose and the choices I made were not good ones for way too many years.
How Grace Works
Because God is a loving God and wants above all that none would perish, in order to make this free will thing work, He had to mix in grace. This wasn’t a problem for Him, because remember God is grace.
Grace is His phenomenal ability to continue to work with people when they keep choosing to ignore what He’s so clearly trying to show them.
God continued give me grace time and time again through the years. He kept telling me what I needed to be doing until it finally bypassed my head and hit my heart square on.
What Grace Does
He never turned His back on me. He was always there speaking softly through the pain that I felt when carrying around 250 extra pounds. He kept patiently working with me. He gave me the same message in many different ways.
One day my eyes were opened to the truth of what He was trying to show me. That set me on my journey to transformation where I have lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.
To me, though, the even more miraculous aspect of His grace was that when I repented of not listening to Him, He totally forgave all the times I had turned my back on Him and disobeyed Him. To disobey God is to sin.
Remember how God built into us our free will to obey or disobey Him? Obedience brings blessings. Disobedience should bring curses. Instead, when we repent, God forgives us. He gives us grace.
God Isn’t Surprised
God is smart enough to know that as humans we are going to fail. He expects it to happen. He isn’t surprised. He invented grace to cover our failures and give us a way to come back into right standing with Him
His grace sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. His grace paved the way for us to have salvation. “We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8 CEB).
His grace was what gave me the desire, power and strength to continue to follow the plan He set for me to live a healthy lifestyle.
It’s taken me awhile, but I have finally came to the place where I have realized that following what God tells me and shows me to do is the only way to go forward. It’s the only way to live this life no matter what we are facing.
Everything you’ve ever done that you are ashamed of, the minute you repented of it, no matter what it was, God wiped it away. Your record is spotless.
Child of God, remember, Your Daddy wants you to know one really important thing. He is so proud of you.
1 “What Is Grace? Bible Meaning and Definition.” Bible Study Tools, www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/grace/.