I am back to reading Ed Welch’s new book Running Scared: fear, worry, anxiety and the God of rest. In chapter 12 he makes this insightful comment:
Anxiety asks for more information so it can be prepared for the coming apocalypse. It also asks for more information so that it can manage the world apart from God.
Worry and anxiety think that more information will help. The truth, of course, is that it won’t
God gives grace for today, for tomorrow, and for the future. God promises us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that he gives us enough grace for every worry. And he gives us this grace when we need it–not necessarily beforehand. For example, if you get in the car accident that you are always worrying might happen, God will give you the grace to handle that and even grace to bear fruit in that difficult situation. If, as a missionary I know is facing, you work hard for a number of years toward a specific goal, and something you hadn’t even been worrying about happens occurs, God will give you the grace for the detour. If your loved one dies before you do, God will give you the grace then to keep going and reflect your Father’s glory. If you experience a real financial downturn, even poverty, God will give you grace to remember that this in no way affects your status as one of his ambassadors.
God always gives grace for every hardship. But grace never promises the absence of hardship. Welch writes,
If our child is very sick, we want to believe that grace means that God will heal the child. If we have just been laid off from a job and have no financial cushion, we want to believe that grace means we will be hired tomorrow by an even more stable company, and that the old company will apologize for its egregious mistake with a huge severance package. But that is not the promise. God does not promise that earthly life in his kingdom will be easier than life in our own kingdom. Instead, he indicates that in the kingdom of heaven we will be familiar with the sufferings of Christ. We will experience hardships. We will not be spared the difficulties of life.
Welch reminds us that “tomorrow’s grace means more.” More than you can imagine. Think of everything that we receive when we receive grace: the gifts of the Spirit, the Spirt of grace, the kingdom, love, joy, patience, gentleness, adoption as God’s children, power to fight sin, goodness, self-control, fruitfulness, peace, the mind of God, freedom, faithfulness, no condemnation, truth, unity, power to serve others, presence of God, promise of future perfection, wisdom, and life.
So, here is the challenge. Don’t limit God or God’s grace to the size of your imagination! Rather remember that He is the one who gives “grace upon grace!” Start each day by asking, “God, help me. Give me your grace! I am a person in need of your grace today!” And end each day saying, “Thank you, Lord!”
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