Is This the One Thing We Need?

What’s Next?

Can you predict what will happen this afternoon? Overall, maybe.

What about next week? Less likely.

Next year? Don’t even try.

Uncertainty in 2021 looms large, especially coming straight from 2020. Uncertainty in our relationships, too. Friendships are stretched thin. Family relationships are fragile. Infighting is too common. 

We’re at a crossroads.

If there’s one thing we need, it may not be to know the future. It may be to hold on to this for the future: God’s grace.

Grace Is a Game Changer

Understanding our need for grace is the first step in healing relationships. It involves self-awareness. It involves confession. It involves repentance.

Paul David Tripp in 40 Days of Grace says there’s no greater danger than the danger we are to ourselves. We need help. And we need help outside ourselves.

Tripp says,

“The person who is comfortable in his own righteousness hasn’t really understood grace, and the person who is unimpressed by God’s grace hasn’t really understood his sin.”

Asking for help doesn’t come easy to us. But if we want out of the messes we’ve created, confessing our need for intervention is critical. It involves grace.

“Grace is the ultimate spiritual game changer. It is the one thing that has the power to change you and everything about you. It is what all human beings need, no matter who they are or where they are.”

Receive and Give Away Grace

Next, we need to receive the grace that God is giving us. An unopened gift sitting unwrapped on the shelf does us no good. Let’s rip the paper off God’s forgiveness for us and bask in his kindness. Soak in his grace.

And then, let’s give grace away every chance we can.

“God is not satisfied with you being a witness to his work of grace. He’s called you to be an instrument of that grace to others.”

That doesn’t mean that we don’t hold people accountable. We do. There are still consequences that must be faced, by us and by others.

But grace makes those consequences easier to accept, our burdens easier to bear.

With more grace comes clearer vision. Healed relationships. Deeper love.

Count on Grace

To make peace with the uncertainty of unpredictable times, we can be certain of one gift that will keep on coming: grace. God and his grace are inseparable.

Receive it for yourself. Then pass it along to someone else.

Grace is one thing we need now and always.

On January 21, and on the 21st of every month, join our One Word 2021 community here as we link up posts, images, articles, about our one words. My word is “Uncertainty.” What’s yours?

To help me deal with uncertainty, I’m writing a 28-day series beginning February 1, “I Just Can’t See It! How to Uncover Hidden Biases” (or something like that). Visit Anita Ojeda to learn more about the #write28days challenge.

Where have you seen God’s grace in the past week? Who has needed grace from you? Please share in the comments.

My thanks to Crossway for the
review copy of 40 Days of Grace

20 thoughts on “Is This the One Thing We Need?

  1. bill (cycleguy)

    I’m currently reading 40 Days of Grace during my morning Quiet Time. I’ve already used 40 Days of Faith and over 1/2way through Grace. He has another coming out called 40 Days of Love and I look forward to reading that one. For two years his New Morning Mercies was my go to devotional during my QT. I’m glad he has put those devos in small, handy, bite-sized morsels. I can highly recommend these small books and this one especially.

  2. Laurie

    I love your thoughts on receiving and giving away grace. Grace is not something to be hoarded. It’s to be given to others as freely and generously as it is given to us! My challenge to extend grace this past week has been with my youngest son, who is almost always late. I remind myself that when I was his age, wrangling young children into the car before I could leave the house, I was often late when visiting my parents too! 🙂

  3. Barbara Harper

    I love this: “The person who is comfortable in his own righteousness hasn’t really understood grace, and the person who is unimpressed by God’s grace hasn’t really understood his sin.” One of my most often appealed-to verses is Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” But I need consistent reminders to extend that grace to others.

  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    We want our lives to be serene,
    gliding on a golden path,
    and God’s not really being mean
    when He starts to grin and laugh
    because we are not made to rust
    strolling in a grassy field,
    but are rather formed to trust
    our mountain-climbing steps to yield
    a view across forever’s space,
    a view to take in earth and sky
    and in the seeing, finding grace
    and the will to live and die
    as nomads on the Christian trail
    on which love will, at end, prevail.

  5. Mariel Davenport

    great post, friend! Also I am so excited about the #write28days challenge. As for grace, wow, I need it so very often from the Lord, my man, my boys…basically everyone! It helps me to grace others when I ponder on all the grace I have been given too.

  6. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I am thinking much about repentance these days, and certainly (thankfully) God’s grace makes that possible. Thanks for all the grace-filled things you write here at your blog, Lisa.

  7. Nancy Ruegg

    The phrase “instrument of grace” brings a harp to mind! Just as the notes of a harp provide soothing, restful music, so grace brings the same qualities to relationships. “Kind words . . . smooth and quiet and comfort the hearer,” said Blaise Pascal. Our country desperately needs instruments of grace to smooth and quiet and comfort its citizens! Though it would be wonderful if those in leadership could be those voices, it can start with us, in our families and communities.

  8. June

    Tripp’s comment is right on. A big part of the foundational issues at work in our current culture is a false sense of self-righteousness and a lack of understanding of our own sin. It is difficult to have compassion for others, to extend grace and mercy when you’ve never admitted your own need and received them yourself. This is the foundation we need to repair and then build upon. Great post, Lisa!

  9. Trudy

    Oh yes, Lisa. We so need grace now and always! “To make peace with the uncertainty of unpredictable times, we can be certain of one gift that will keep on coming: grace. God and his grace are inseparable.” Amen! Thank you for this encouragement. I love the quotes, too. Love and blessings to you, my friend!

  10. Shannon

    I really like the analogy of the present–that grace is like a present, so it doesn’t do any good for it to remain wrapped, sitting on a shelf. I know what grace is, I know that it is there, but do I experience it? Do I extend it to others? I’m going to meditate on my answers to these questions.

  11. Donna

    Lisa, such a great post at such a great time! I love Tripp’s book, and just about everything he writes. Your comments on grace being a gift, and meant to be given away really resonate with me. I’ve always thought of grace like the old hymn, “Channels Only”, that I would simply be a channel of grace that it might flow from Him through me to others. We can never have nor offer enough grace!

  12. Astrid

    Such a great post! I agree we need grace more than anything. Also, grace definitely changes us. Like, before I saw the light, I switched between thinking I wasn’t worth any grace and thinking I didn’t need any. Well, I need grace and thankfully I get it from God as well as other people everyday.

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