I am taking a few weeks off blogging to finish up my kids’ schooling, along with some writing and home projects I’m working on. Before I take off, I want to share one of my favorite messages God’s led me to write. It’s a message He often reminds me of when I am facing difficulties and feeling worn down by my trials. If you’re feeling weary today, I pray this message encourages you too!
God’s Unmerited Favor
I heard a heartbreaking story on the radio the other day. A woman called into the station. She was hurting deeply and didn’t know how to get out of the pit she was in. As she shared her story she cried out, “I’m tired! I don’t want to fight anymore!”
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t take another day and face another mountain?
I was hit by something once. I didn’t know why it happened or how it was going to work out. As I was sharing it with my friend, she expressed, “Maybe God is trying to teach you about grace.”
After talking to her, I opened my Amplified Bible and started reading Zechariah chapter four. I came across verse seven, which read: “For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it!”
I looked up grace in my Amplified Bible and saw it defined as “God’s unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy.” I knew God was telling me to shout to my mountain, “Grace, grace to it!” God wanted me to see that my mountain was only a mere molehill compared to His grace.
My obstacle was not going to crush me. It was not going to harm me. It was not going to destroy me. God’s favor was surrounding me.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
God’s favor doesn’t mean our trials will go away and everything will work out the way we expect them to. God’s favor means that we will rise and soar above our mountains and they will not overtake us.
Have you ever flown in an airplane? Everything that seems so big on land looks so small when you’re soaring high above them. God wants to lift us high above our mountains so we can see that He is so much bigger.
The Apostle Paul experienced more trials than most of us, yet he expressed, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
Paul “delighted” in his weaknesses. He “delighted” in insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. He knew his trials strengthened his faith and drew him closer to the Lord. He knew God’s grace was all he needed. He knew God’s favor was resting on him. He knew God wouldn’t allow anything that He couldn’t work out for Paul’s benefit and to further the gospel.
Paul soared above his mountains with joy knowing they weren’t bigger than His God. If Paul allowed his trials to keep him down, I don’t believe we would know about him today. His life was a true example of God’s unmerited favor.
I read a wonderful quote in the book “Make Me a Legend” by pastor and author, Chuck Balsamo. Chuck expressed, “Whatever fails to kill us makes us better and stronger! Adversity isn’t supposed to be the end of us; it is merely the backdrop of our defining moments. When we face challenges, our smoldering greatness has a chance to flash out for all to see. So guess what, my friend? Those excruciating challenges you’ve been protesting all this time are not going to kill you! In fact, they have been sent to showcase your greatness! Just hold on and you’ll see. Everything is really working out to your advantage, and after God gets finished turning the current hellish trial into your next big win, the devil will wish he had never laid eyes on you. If he had only known how you would come through this fiery furnace with a hefty promotion, he would have never thrown you down into the flames!”
So if you’re in a pit today, wondering if you’ll ever see the light of day, know God’s unmerited favor is resting upon you. Speak His grace over your situation. Watch and see the Lord lift you out of the pit and turn that great mountain of human obstacle into a mere molehill!
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
We praise You that You don’t leave us to sink in the pits we fall, dive, or are thrown into. You always grasp our hands in support and uphold us (Psalm 37:24). Remind us to speak to our mountains and receive Your favor over every obstacle we face in life. We praise You for Your unmerited love and grace.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen!
NOW SPEAK TO YOUR MOUNTAIN:
For who are you, O great mountain of (your obstacle)? Before (your name) you shall become a plain, mere molehill. I speak grace, grace to (your obstacle)! My God’s favor is greater than you!!
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”