In continuation to the post ‘Christian ideologies and God’s Promises’, we are going to see how ignorant we are regarding the grace of God. I met some Christians who firmly believe that the grace of God is available to some category of spiritual people who find favor in the sight of God. The whole Bible depicts the love of God and teaches us to come near to God so that God can come near us. But these people have decided not to come near God as they think God is too far away. In the below verse, Paul is telling us that God has created and placed us on the face of the earth to seek Him. Further Paul assures us that He is near each one of us. Paul ascertains the leverage of God for each one of us. Yet we think that God is far away from us.
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us. Acts 17: 26-27. ”
Paul is again teaching the Church of Romans that it is God’s purview to show mercy and we do not have any right to question His discretion. Satan has marred so many Christians through the following verse. Reading the verses in random is dangerous. Hearing someone’s misconception is disastrous. If we stick to one verse without understanding the context in which it is said then Satan uses it to impart his intention in our lives. The holistic reading of following verses will clear our doubt,
“As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Roman 9:13-15
The statement “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” was given to people of Israel through prophet Malachi in order to convince them that He is loving them. They had been asking God that `How had God loved them?’ thinking that they are outside the boundary of God’s love. For that God refers his unconditional love bestowed on Jacob, though he was known for cheating his brother Esau. In the succeeding verses Paul brings out the heart of God, whom by all means having the authority to show mercy on all whom He wants. Further, Bible promises the Grace of God is for all mankind and confirms that there will be no reversion at any cost.
“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. ” Isaiah 54:10
Paul further goes on explaining that why sometimes God’s people undergo long sufferings. It is not because that they are far from God but it is because of that God wants to glorify His name through their lives. And this opportunity is given not only for Jews or Christians, it is for all.
“What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Roman 9:22-24
Paul speaks about his petition to God to remove a thorn which was always pricking him and not allowing him to rise above. As an answer to his petition Paul tells us that God had told him that God’s grace is enough for him. This is another area where Christians stumble. Many are trying to find out the substance of the petition. Indeed, we are more worried about the problem than the answer we need for it.
“And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
First thing we can understand from the above is, Paul was asking God for strength to handle certain issues on his own. Second thing is that Paul was not happy with his state. Thirdly Paul underestimated the Grace of God and thought that God’s grace is not sufficient to hold him amidst his problems. God, after throwing light on these grey areas of Paul assured Him of His Amazing Grace. Unless and until these grey areas are removed from our lives, we cannot understand His Grace.
Quite often we think that God is only for the people who have physical, material and spiritual strength. If we do not have strength in the above three realms, then we put ourselves under darkness. But our God is a God who is making our weaknesses perfect. He is a God who helps those who have strength and those who do not have strength, equally.
“And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.” 2 Chronicles 14:11
Let us not underestimate the Grace of God. Let us understand what all the grace has done for us. May the grace of Jesus Christ be with us till we see Him face to face.