Faith in Future Grace

Good morning. It is Friday, January 9, 2015. 87 days until Opening Day!

Today’s Word of the Day is “plerophory.” This strange word means, “Full assurance or certainty, esp. in relation to an article of religious faith or doctrine.” I suppose, then, that I have plerophory of the grace of God in my life.

Today is Static Electricity Day Have you ever rubbed a balloon on your shirt sleeve and stuck it to a wall? That’s static electricity at work. Of course so is the painful spark that happens when the weather gets colder and you touch anything remotely resembling metal in your house while walking around. Ugh. Static electricity isn’t always fun.

Stephanie and I went to the gym for a workout last night, while Christi went to Huddle. We had just eaten, which is never a good idea, so I engaged in a not-too-strenuous session on the recumbent bike for about 35 minutes. It was a nice workout, and certainly better than nothing. Christi and I may go back tonight, depending on how things are after work.

Christi’s mother is home, as she is refusing to go to rehab. Apparently, she doesn’t want to get better, she just wants to stay at home and be doped up on pain meds. Also, apparently, one of Jennifer’s friends (Jennifer is Christi’s niece) is going to stay with her as a “caregiver.” We’re all waiting to see how this is going to turn out.

It’s still pretty chilly, around here, being about 34 degrees outside right now. That’s a little less cold than it was supposed to be, though. We should see a slight warming trend next week.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long?
Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Psalm 6

Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “Only A Little While.”

And after you have suffered a little while,
the God of all grace,
who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10

There are times in our lives, during periods of afflictions and stress, that we, like the Psalmist above, cry out, “How long, O Lord??” We struggle to see beyond the pain of the day, and have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Will God be there during that affliction and stress, too?

Jesus told us, in Mark 13:13, But the one who endures to the end will be saved. This makes our questions all the more urgent, as we don’t want to be “of those who shrink back and are destroyed” (Hebrews 10:39). “We are not playing games. Suffering is a horrible threat to faith in God’s future grace.”

This makes Peter’s promise in the focal verse of today’s reading a wonderful thing to read. “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

We have assurance that he will not hold out on us beyond what we are able to endure, he will utterly abolish the flaws that daily bring us down, and he will “establish forever what has tottered so long.” These assurances come from “all grace.”

“God is not the God of some grace–like bygone grace. He is the god of ‘all grace’–including the infinite, inexhaustible stores of future grace.”

Faith in this grace is our key to endurance. Faith in future grace.

Father, keep my faith in your future grace strong. I struggle, just like most people, with the daily stresses and afflictions that come our way. Sure we have days where things look great, and we are praising you for your blessings. But then days come that seem like your blessings are a thing of the distant past. We must not lose sight of your grace. We must focus on what we know to be true. Father, Christi is struggling right now with all the things that are going on with her mother, and work has been unusually stressful of late. I pray that your spirit will help her to know this future grace; that she will keep her eyes focused on you and the grace that has brought us this far, along with the grace that is promised for eternity. I pray for that same faith, to see the future that we have in you through Christ.

I pray for this day. May our trip to work be safe. I pray for a good work day for both of us. I pray that Stephanie will know your steadfast love, and that you will give her wisdom and understanding for her life. Teach us your way, that we may walk in your truth. Help us to love you, follow Christ, and share the kingdom.

Whatever you are suffering right now, know that God’s grace is more than just what brought you to Christ. It extends infinitely into the future, providing for every need that you could ever possibly have.

Grace and peace, friends.

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