An old friend who understood God’s perspective and love described the Christian life in this way: Undeniable guilt with underserved grace will lead to unbridled gratitude.
Today let’s look at why so much of Scripture deals with learning and understanding this to be true. To do so, we must ask our Heavenly Father to teach us this truth so we can turn all that we are over to our Savior.
How can Christians give praise that honors God and that results in such unbridled gratitude—even in pain, sorrow, and deep brokenness?
First, the Scripture teaches that we exist for God and that all of God’s kindness and goodness comes as a gift to be received from our Lord’s loving hand (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Yes, even our bad and painful circumstances have a purpose that will lead ultimately to God’s glory and our good.
We can all agree that this is not what we want, but every character in Scripture seems to have experienced it. They chose to honor God through it, and it was the key to their life’s impact for generations to come. For example, the book of Job shouts at us with sorrow and purpose as Job states, “‘Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him ... (Job 13:15).’”
I believe the following verse will also help us embrace God’s purposes and will lead us to experience our Lord’s loving loyalty in the most painful of circumstances.
“What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” -1 Corinthians 4:7b
The cornerstone for God’s grace is that it’s a gift—a completely undeserved, unconditional, and unmerited measure of His goodness, mercy, and love.
As I’ve said before, God’s perfect love for you and me must always seek our highest good. The greatest example of this is the cross of Christ. The greatest evil ever done by mankind—including you and me—was used by God to bring the greatest act of good to the world.
“‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’” –Genesis 50:20
Yes, we crucified Jesus. Our sins put Jesus on the cross, but the Father’s love raised Him from the dead and now, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).”
The pain of rejection and suffering lasted a day, but the glory of Christ Jesus will be for all eternity.
God offers you and me an incredible gift of forgiveness and eternal life that comes free to us but at a great cost to the Son. This truth should enable us to see that our only response to our undeniable guilt in the face of Jesus’ undeserved grace is unbridled gratitude.
Because of who Jesus is, we are now members of God’s forever family. We will never experience Hell because He experienced it for us. We will never be judged for our sins because He was judged for them. We will never be separated from the Father because Jesus was.
What a great gift to be the sons and daughters of the living Lord God Almighty!
This should cause us to tell someone about what Christ has done for you this week. Trust that God is at work behind the curtain in the lives of people around you as you talk to someone.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.