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Friday, October 5, 2018

How God’s Grace Can Get Me Through

In review of 1 Peter 5:12b it says, ”My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from 1 Peter 5. Paul provides insight for not only the shepherding of myself, but of God's people, especially in the midst of suffering. I am to care for the flock that God has entrusted me. I am to watch over it willingly, not grudgingly, not for what I will get out of it, but because I am eager to serve God. I should never lord my leadership over the people assigned to my care, but rather lead them by my own good example. Also, accept the authority of those above me. It's important to dress myself in humility as I relate to others, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". So I should humble myself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift me up in honor.

In addition, I can give all my worries and cares to God, for he cares about me. Use caution and stay alert! Watch out for the great enemy, who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in my faith. Remember, I'm not alone, others are experiencing the same kind of suffering I am. In God's kindness he called me to share in his eternal glory by the means of Christ Jesus. So after I have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen me, and he will pace me on a firm foundation.

Peter writes this to encourage Christ's followers, including myself. What I experience is truly part of God's grace, so stand firm in this grace. God is kind, keep on having faith in him. All of this is a true statement of the way God blesses. All of this should help me to stand firmly in his love.

I will face many pitfalls in the marathon of life. But regardless of what I go through, I can count on God’s sustaining grace.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:12, “My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (NLT).

I’m learning that there are three things in life that can cause me to stumble, to get cast off to the side of the race, and to not finish well in life. But in each of these situations, God’s sustaining grace will get me through.

First, God’s sustaining grace helps me keep standing when I’m tempted. Temptation is the first thing that can cause me to stumble. The Bible says, “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT). God says, “I will provide the sustaining grace to always give me a way of escape.” It may mean turning the channel. It may mean running out the door. It may mean changing the way I’m thinking. But God will provide a way to escape temptation.

Secondly, God’s sustaining grace helps me keep standing when I’m tired. Sometimes I just tired! Life is often exhausting. It requires a lot of energy, especially when I’m trying to do the right thing rather than the easy thing. But where do I get the power to do the right thing when I’m dead tired? “It is God who enables us, along with me, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned me, and he has identified me as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in my heart” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The key is having the Holy Spirit in my heart to have the energy to do the things I can’t do in my own power.

Lastly, God’s sustaining grace gives me the power to keep going when I’m troubled. There are some hurts that all the wishing in the world won’t make go away. There are some things in life that are unplanned, unrelenting, and undeserved—and they hurt the most.

What do I do in these situations? Stop doing the “if only” game and instead focus on Christ and his sustaining power. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you” (NCV).

Bottom Line:
Be encouraged by what God is doing, stand fast in his kindness and grace.

What this means to me:
Peter encourages me that what I experience is truly part of God's kindness and grace to me. It is a true statement of the way God blesses me. This should help me to stand firmly in my faith and in his love.

In summary, care for others willingly because of an eagerness to serve God. Lead by my own example. Accept the authority of those above me. Dress myself in humility, especially as I relate to others. Let God lift me up in his timing. Give all my worries and cares to God. Watch for the enemy, stand firm against him. Be strong in my faith. I'm not the only one who experiences difficulties. Count on God's sustaining grace. Use this grace to stand against temptation, to provide strength when I'm tired, and to keep going when I'm troubled.

Today Father I continue to ask for your wisdom and guidance in what I do and in what I face. With the reminders this morning, help me to lead others. Help me to be humble, kind and loving in my interactions with others. In your Son Jesus name I pray, amen!

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