Grace runs downhill. I heard Steve Brown say that at a conference I was attending. I didn’t understand it at first, but Papa God is enlightening me day by day.
The Bible tells us “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. ”(James 4:6)
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. We haven’t done anything to deserve God’s love and goodness, and yet He lavishes grace upon us all day every day. Grace is also the desire and the power to do God’s will. Life is impossible without grace. But the definition that I’ve come to embrace most of all is this: Grace is what God does for us. Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
On the flip side, the Bible tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) We can do all things if we allow the Lord to live through us and for us. When we resist Him and insist on being in control ourselves, we obstruct the flow of His grace in our life.
I’ve always heard water takes the path of least resistance. Grace is like water. It cleanses and refreshes. When we swallow our pride and give up control, His grace flows and fills us with His love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control. It fills our hearts from the bottom up, just like water fills any container into which it is poured. It will fill every nook and cranny. It flows downhill, if you will.
It all boils down to trust. Do we really trust God?
I know we go through some tough times in this world. Papa God understands suffering and grief. Jesus experienced the pain and heartache of separation from His Father when He set us free from sin on the cross. The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. How could the Holy Spirit comfort us if He doesn’t know why we need to be comforted? God understands what we are experiencing every second of our life. That’s why He daily sends us so many reminders of His grace, goodness and faithfulness for which we should be profoundly grateful.
I dare you. I double-dog dare you. I bet you can’t do it. Wanna bet? Think of only one thing you are thankful for? Just one, mind you. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
You couldn’t do it, could you? Giving thanks is like eating potato chips. Bet you can’t eat just one. When was the last time you slowed down enough to just say, “Thank you, Lord?” Why don’t you do it right now. And while you’re at it, ask Him to give you an attitude of gratitude. Get in the habit of being thankful for the things you normally take for granted. That alone will put a spring in your step and song in your heart.
Let me leave you with a few things you might want to do to remind you to keep an attitude of gratitude.
• Don’t postpone joy.
• Be forgiving of yourself and others.
• Always have something beautiful in sight, even if it’s just a daisy in a jelly jar.
• Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.
• Don’t use time or words carelessly, neither can be retrieved.
• Buy a bird feeder and hang it so you can see it either at work or at home.
• Don’t let anyone talk you out of pursuing what you know to be a great idea.
• After you’ve worked hard to get what you want, take time to celebrate and enjoy it.
Once you realize that God has given us life to enjoy, not endure, it’s downhill from there.
Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey in Lake Wylie.