Sabbath Sanctuary: Resting in His Grace

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, but I do not readily welcome the winter which follows ~ which appeared today in 22-degree weather and snowfall.
I have written about the tension between me and winter for the last couple of years and it seems to reflect where I am spiritually as well.  If I am honest, I feel as though I have been stuck in winter for several years, regardless of what season the calendar reads and no matter how hot the sun blazes.  I am in winter.  I am tired and weary and long for a change of season in my walk with my Savior.

This season has been particularly hard.  Many times, it is all I can do to awake from my slumber to face the challenges of the day.  The Lord has been so good to me this week as He gently reminded me of His grace.

We know grace to be that attribute that is part of the manifold of God’s love.  God deals with us not on our merit or worthiness, or on what we deserve  ~ our lives consistently displaying our fallenness.  He deals with us on the basis of His goodness and generosity.  God’s grace supplies us with undeserved favor ~ grace is a precious, beautiful gift.
We cannot earn it and we do not deserve it.

Grace, however, goes beyond undeserved favor.  The New Testament book of Luke describes Jesus as having “the grace of God upon Him” (Luke 2:40) and as “growing in grace with God and man”. (Luke 2:52)  Many more references to grace are found in the Book of Acts.  The good Doctor Luke makes a strong association between grace and power.  Grace is often linked with the power of God to create spiritual life and to sustain Christians.  Grace, in the New Testament, “God’s unmerited favor,” has a new aspect added to mean power in the Spirit.1  In many of Paul’s writings (Romans 1:5; 12:6; 15:15;
I Corinthians 3:10; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 2:2, 3:2,7) it means the power and equipment for ministry.  Grace is the power to do what you cannot do for yourself.

I have worked so hard at trying to make things change and happen in my own strength ~ which explains my weariness.  Working in our own strength will drain us and deplete us of any life.  We must rest in Him and allow Him to do the work for us.  This does not mean that we become complacent waiting for Him to do something, we must abide in His presence through the Word and prayer and allow Him to fill us with His grace ~ remembering always to cultivate a heart of worship.  Through His grace this week I have been able to face the challenges and the hard times knowing that He is my strength and is working everything according to His purpose.

Rest in His grace this sabbath weekend.  He is waiting to fill you with grace to empower you to run the race.  Oh, and when you rest in Him, He will refresh you to overflowing and bring you to a place of rest from the storm. 

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
Psalm 84:6


[1] Walter A. Elwell ed., Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. “grace,” (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 314.

[2] W.E. Vine, ed., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words, s.v. “grace,” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson), 500.

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