Violent Grace

Today is a start to a good one. Rarely do I wake up at a decent hour because I love my sleep. It started to convict me that I have become so complacent and most of my time has been spent on school work. But today, I put my foot down and surrendered my time to the Lord–fully. I’m not wanting to just give Him a fraction of my time, but all of it. God is the Creator of the universe and the giver of breath and life, so I’m done spinning my wheels. It becomes exhausting and I think I’ve hit that point. I have more work to do than I ever imagined and started to plan out my days into this whole next month. The more I looked at my days in this way, the less I saw that this life isn’t about me. It’s about Jesus and making much of Him. Anyways, I want to share something I read early this morning in my devotional that doesn’t really have to do with what I just talked about but hopefully it will stir your heart to be more grateful for the grace of God–in a different way.

Psalm:51:8- Let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

You’re probably reading that verse and thinking it’s hard to grasp and wonder where I’m going with it. First off, we have to understand that God is sovereign–meaning He is in control and He is supreme over all creation (see Revelation 21:6, Col. 1:16, Rom. 11:33, Jer. 32:17). Sometimes people view God in this way, but doubt His love for them in this sovereignty. He isn’t up in heaven just allowing things to happen for no purpose. He is God and He is love and He is for His glory. There’s is no evil that can be done by God. God doesn’t just look down and watch something happen with no purpose or design. If our view is anything short of this, it’s going to be hard to grasp what I am about to say. One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. It is the very things that the world sees as daunting, that are actually evidence of God’s grace. These aren’t always comfortable or “good” things either. It might be a difficult marriage, a job loss, an ongoing struggle towards sin, a death. Just take a look at the life of Job in the Bible and David (He is the one that wrote Psalm 51:8).

Grace is a gift from God. It is what has saved God’s children, it is what secures our salvation, it is the very breath of life and everything in it that God gives. But grace might not always be delivered to us in a comfortable way. Sometimes it takes uncomfortable and violent grace of God to reveal to us our sin for what it is. The more comfortable we are with our sin, the more complacent we become. God’s saving work in an individual doesn’t stop at the moment He saves (justification). It is being worked out until the day when Christ returns. Sometimes the sanctification process is difficult and it might take God to “break a bone” to reveal the pain of our sin and cause us to desire a renewed heart in areas where it has been hardened. Just remember, He is for your good.

I didn’t believe that for the longest time and thought my suffering had no purpose, until I slowly but surely saw God’s grace and love for me during this season. He used it to show the state of my heart and the blindness I had been walking in–idolatry, pride, selfishness. I had an obstinate and wretched sense of comfort in what God says is wrong. He loved me enough to crush that view and be delivered from it. Does this remind you of something? The Cross of Christ. God loved me enough to crush His own Son, that I might be delivered from the wrath of sin. Praise Jesus.

The word rejoice in Psalm 51:8 might also throw you off a bit. Brokenness reveals our dependency. We were created to be dependent on our God and have a relationship with Him. But sometimes we puff ourselves up and walk in independence and blindness to everything opposite of what and Who we were created for. That’s a scary path to walk on. Piper couldn’t say it better… “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” That means when our aim is to glorify God, we will be most satisfied because that’s the way He created it to be and because His glory is the only perfect, unwavering thing. We aren’t satisfied when we run to empty wells or even depend on ourselves. This is why the violent and sometimes crushing bone that breaks is a beautiful evidence of God’s grace. It is worth rejoicing in and celebrating in. Why? Because it leads us into joy and glorifies our Savior when we see the reality of our sin and yet, while we were sinners, Christ died for it all (Romans 5:8). It takes the Spirit of God’s conviction to reveal our sin and cause us to turn from it. That’s not comfortable, but that’s a gift and it’s one of the most loving and gracious things that God can do for you.

God’s violent grace will at times crush us because He is so desperately after our heart. Because He is committed and faithful to bring restoration and deliverance, leading us into the joy of our salvation. This kind of grace is worth celebrating. Just remember, there will come a day where we won’t have to be crushed for God to be glorified. There will be no more sin, no more tears, no more pain. But until then, let us remember that God is shaping us for that day. Let us humbly walk with thankfulness that God promises He will work all things for the good of those who love Him.

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