Have you ever been asked the question, “How have you seen God’s grace in your life?” Or, “How does God show you His grace?” Growing up in the church, I have definitely been asked those questions countless times. But it wasn’t until recently that I knew how to answer them. For the majority of my walk with Jesus I thought the only way God showed me His grace was through sending His Son to die for my sins on the cross. But boy was I wrong–God’s grace is so much more than that. It will never be and can never be any less than that, but it is SO much more than that!
When the Lord brings a word to my mind, and keeps bringing it up over and over again, the first thing I do is look up the definition on my trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary app. So, naturally, I looked up the definition of grace: “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.” The number one thing to notice in this definition is the word unmerited. The grace God showed me through the death of Jesus was 100% unmerited by me. The grace God shows me every single day is 100% unmerited by me. In other words, there is absolutely nothing I can do in order to earn God’s grace, and yet, He chooses to give it to me anyways.
The Greek word for grace is charis, which means, “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.” By the grace of God, I am able to experience fullness of joy, loveliness, and delight, despite my sinful nature and impure heart.
But why?! Why does God choose to show me, and you, grace over and over again every single day?! Ephesians 1:7-10 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” God shows us His grace because His greatest desire is for us–His children, His creation–to have an intimate relationship with Him. He longs for us to come to Him, worship Him, commune with Him; but we are unable to do that on our own. Because we are sinful, unholy, and unclean, we are unable to be in the presence of God, the only being who is sinless, holy, and pure on His own. In order to have an intimate relationship with God, He had to make a way for us to be in His presence, a way for us to be cleansed and purified. So He sent Jesus, His Son, to pay the penalty that we deserved for every sin we ever commit, for everything that makes us unclean and separates us from God. God knew what He was doing–making a way for us to be in His presence, sending His Son to die for us, was never Plan B, it was always a part of His plan and His will.
So now I ask myself, “How have I seen God’s grace in my life? How has God shown me, and how does He continue to show me, His grace?”
Oh man, there are way too many examples to count! But by the grace of God, I have been quick to notice His grace in my life a whole lot more in the last few weeks. God has shown me His grace by proving to be faithful even when I am unfaithful. By already providing 68% of my monthly financial goal to be able to work with students at UCLA. By giving me the greatest friends who serve in ministry full time with me (aka Mia and the Lonely Trolls) and who understand this crazy life God has called us to. By blessing me with the sweetest friends in LA who love me and who are quick to speak Truth into my life when I am believing the lies of the enemy. By allowing me to be a part of a staff team at UCLA who is so passionate about seeing students on that campus entering into a relationship with their Creator and their Savior. By showing me that He not only has called me to live and do ministry in Los Angeles, but He has a plan, a purpose, and a place for me there. By blessing me with the greatest, most supportive parents, sister, and Gammie who encourage me to follow wherever the Lord is leading me, even if that means moving away from them to the other side of the country or the other side of the world. By reminding me that by not giving me the desires of my heart He is actually doing what is best for me. By teaching me about myself and Himself, sanctifying me, and making me more like Him during this process of raising support. By revealing my sin and allowing me to struggle and wrestle with Him before I make this huge life change. By providing a wonderful Christian counselor to help me process through what He is teaching me and how to make positive changes in my life. By blessing me with the love of writing and the ability to process and organize my thoughts in the form of writing and journaling.
There are so many more, and I never want to stop recognizing God’s grace in my life. I never want to go back to the point where I don’t know how to answer the question “How does God show you His grace?” I always want to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that I am able to recognize and point out God’s grace in my life.
I think I could go on for hours about how God has shown me His grace not only by giving me blessings, but also by withholding from me what I think I need. So I’ll leave you with this: I want to encourage you, to challenge you, to ask God to open your eyes to His grace in your life. Allow Him to reveal Himself to you through ways you could never imagine. Write them down, make a note in your phone, do whatever you need to do in order to actively recognize and remember God’s grace in your life. And remember: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis mine).