“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7–8 (niv)
Recently, a friend e-mailed me about some incredibly painful setbacks he was facing. Amid all the faith-rattling problems was an overwhelming financial mess. He also said that although he had prayed about it all, he felt hesitant seeking God’s grace and help with the situation, because he had made some poor decisions that had brought about at least part of the problems.
As I struggled to find words of comfort and encouragement, I kept coming back to that line of his letter. I understood what he was saying, and often felt the same way about problems of my own making. If I got myself into a mess, was it fair to ask God to help me find solutions?
That concern has several flaws. First, it presumes that we can separate out “our fault” from various situations—that His grace is available to us only when we are completely innocent, when we’ve made flawless choices every step of the way. Yet when is that? When aren’t our actions at least to a small degree influenced by motives corrupted by our sinful nature?
Second, with this approach, we are left seeking answers in our own human abilities and strength—the same human limitations that got us into the problem.
Most important, the theory breaks down because of God’s nature. I suspect God’s grace is quite a bit bigger, more lavish, more kind, more merciful than we can grasp. The whole miracle of grace is that it’s undeserved. Jesus was willing to die to save me from the tangle that sin has made of my soul. He is also willing to live in me to bring His wisdom, direction and power to the smaller tangles of my daily life.
FAITH STEP: Is there a tangle that you’ve been hesitant to bring to God? Invite Jesus into the situation and ask for His help with it today.
Writen by Sharon Hinck
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