Resting In Grace

Resting In Grace

DAY 8 OF 20

Often, when I least feel apt to demonstrate Christ-like characteristics, that’s when God is most calling me to do so. I have a tendency to get caught up in the drama and tension of the moment—the “offense” I’m experiencing. I forget that God uses all things, hard, unjust, and unpleasant situations especially, to reveal His grace.

Some time ago, a Facebook friend launched a direct attack not just against Christianity, but, it seemed, against me as well. This felt personal, largely because the string of hateful posts always came after she and I had spent time together. 

What baffled me most was the fact that our visit was pleasant, filled with laughter and story-sharing. Sometimes, we’d even discuss things related to my faith, which always stirred praise within me. My emotions sank less than a day later, however, when my Facebook began to fill with what I could only assume were my friend’s true views on Christianity, and therefore, by association, me.

One afternoon, after I’d shared my hurt with a sweet mentor, she gently replied, “She’s not fighting you; she’s fighting God.” This reminded me of the battle that waged around me every day, and that it wasn’t a battle, ultimately, I was to fight. I was to follow wholeheartedly after Jesus; to live worthy of the One who’d given His life so that I could find mine. Whether that meant speaking the truth, serving, or simply praying quietly, my actions, when done in surrendered obedience to my Savior, revealed the power and reality of the gospel. My love in the face of hatred demonstrated the life-expanding within me as clearly as her hatred revealed her spiritual death. 

This was precisely the message Paul wanted the Philippian believers to receive. When they suffered and loved well, they honored the gospel of Christ, revealed the supernatural power within, and provided a stark contrast to all the behaviors wrought by their perishing countrymen. Jesus promised, in this world, we’d have trouble. Our struggles aren’t because we’ve messed up or God’s abandoned us. Rather, they’re often evidence that we belong to Him. Therefore, may we endure hardships with courage, confidence, and unity, linking arms with one another to show the world a love and power that defies comprehension.

What is God asking you to patiently endure, and how might doing so help others see Christ in you?

~ Jennifer Slattery

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Resting In Grace

Christ's grace has the power to change everything. We don't have to strive, to compete or compare, or question whether or not we measure up. We're enough because Christ in us in enough. The cross of Christ sets us free.

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