Resting in the Place of Grace

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 HCSB

Driving, striving and pushing our own agenda and timetable seems to be the “American way.” It seems to be the “human way.” I admire those with an entrepreneurial spirit and ability. It seems they can turn dreams into reality with the greatest of ease. They are willing to take action, take risks and benefit from the results of their endeavors.

But there is a radical difference not in motivation, but in attitude and focus between the “proud” and the “humble.” The attitudes of the proud individual is reflected in Nebuchadnezzar of old, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30 NV) Those are the last words spoken by a great king before being humble they Lord through a harsh seven year lesson. The king had been warned, but refused to recognize that his success had come from the hand of God.

In contrast, we read the words of Paul the Apostle, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV)

The contrast we see is not the results, it is the attitude. Paul like Nebuchadnezzar, in his own merits, had much to be proud of.  The difference is in recognizing the source of strength that has blessed our life and efforts. Humility before the Lord is the “place of grace.” Grace is God’s favor.  “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6 TLB)

Some take the attitude, “I don’t need anyone!” Others embrace the reality of Christ’s words, “For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NLT)

When we trust in the Lord and place our lives in His hands, it calls for patience, but it also gives reassurance. Peter says, “at the right time, He will honor you.” But in that “place of grace” we can “cast all of our cares on Him” because we know He is working on our behalf, but not on our “timetable.”

God’s “place of grace” can serve as a refuge for our worries and anxieties that come in the midst of all the activities of life. Remember the adage, “work like it depends on you, pray like it depends on God.” That will allow you to experience God’s favor and peace in your life.

Prayer for today… “Lord, thank you for Your favor that is able to “crown our efforts with success.” Help us to acknowledge you, to put you first, to trust You to work in our lives that which is pleasing to You, knowing that “at the right time” you will lift us up.”