Grace is a function of joy and intends to produce joy. So, when Paul says we are “saved by grace through faith,” this means God so delights in his own goodness that he established faith (trusting him to provide us a good future) as the means by which we can experience the joys of fellowship with him. But ordaining faith to be the right way to relate to him is not the only expression of God’s grace. Whenever he acts in ways that are motivated by his joy in himself and are aimed at creating a corresponding joy in us, we call these actions “grace.” Joy is the genesis of grace as well as its goal. It’s easy to see “GRACE” as an acronym for “God’s Rejoicing And Causing Enjoyment.” So grace characterizes all of the good he promises to do for us. Considering the following promises of grace will help us fine tune our faith for every situation, even those God has not addressed specifically.
God, the Eternal, is a sun and shield. The Eternal gives grace and glory. He does not withhold good from those who walk uprightly. How fortunate are those who trust in you, O Sustainer of the Universe! Psalm 84:11–12
God earnestly desires to be known and appreciated by us. Conversely, God earnestly desires us to know and appreciate him. Therefore he is highly motivated to display for us all the characteristics that make him worthy of our confidence and love. For example, he created, and does everything necessary to sustain, what we know as ‘the universe.’ Aside from demonstrating his wisdom and power, the order and regularity of what we see in the night sky provide us ways to organize and celebrate the seasons of our lives. Therefore, he is worthy of our trust. We can trust him to provide for our needs, so that we do not covet what he provides for others and so that we do not use others as means to our own ends. We can trust him when he says that living this way will take the fear and anxiety out of our lives, while contributing to the well-being of everyone around us. Living with this kind of integrity, this kind of singular focus, places us in a position to experience the fullness of God in our lives. He acts generously toward us and he honors us by drawing us into fellowship with him more and more, making us more and more the recipients of his creative genius.
Lord Jesus, thank you for powerfully and graciously calling me to your own glory and excellence so that I might be someone who partakes of your divine nature. May I live true to this wonderful calling!
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