Tuesday, 12th October 2021
Title: God’s grace is a lifetime
By. : Pastor Andrew Lim
Our current generation would often lament the savage bitterness of life and feel helpless about it. Such helplessness and bitterness could even strike down the toughest among us, especially in our current world where catastrophes, disasters, injustice, evil and persecution plague us. All these could lead us all to question our faith. Amid all these calamities, we must bear in mind that the grace and peace granted to us by God has never ever left us because our Lord God has already “personally” left His peace to all His beloved children – the cleansing of our sins with His sacrifice on the cross. The hope He has left for us will never be extinguished. His comfort will always be there. We are safe and secure in the hands of our God.
It will indeed a lifetime to dwell upon the grace of God. From the moment of our birth till our death, God’s grace is always there with us. He forgives all our sins, cures our afflictions, and frees us from the shackles of death. He crowns us with His mercy and lovingkindness and satisfies our years with good things. (Psalm 103:3,4) There are still so many more good things by the grace of God that have always remained with us until the end of our lives. Although our lives can be met with many difficulties and suffering, we will surely shout with joy in the daybreak after a night of tears. And, that dawn is near. Tears and pain are temporary for they are without a staying place and must leave at dawn.
All the grace of man is received from God; He is the one who blesses His people, and, by His providence, He takes care of us. “For His anger is only a blink of an eye; His grace lasts a lifetime.” The God, Yahweh, that David knew was not merely his Shepherd, but also his Father. God is like a normal father; He does not lecture nor does He land His rod on His children every day, but He will, like a normal father, use his lifetime to cherish His children, spending time nurturing them, and, occasionally, disciplining them.
David had on various occasions been very disobedient to God. At times, he offended God greatly. As a result, God did pour His wrath on David for those offences as a form of strict discipline. But from David’s point of view, God’s anger and discipline were just for a short moment but His grace is a lifetime. God’s wrath is brief, but His grace is eternal. His discipline on those He loved is just a temporary thing, but His love for them is everlasting.
Once a man gains some achievements in life, he very often would feel financially satisfied and secured. He would even feel a great but misconceived sense of safety and stability in his career and life. Because of that, he might even forget to continually rely upon the one true God who is the only one who could grant true peace in life…As this endemic persists, we are reminded that we cannot afford to be egoistic and arrogant. This endemic also wakes us up to the fact that no matter how great we think we are, or how great others perceive us to be, we are no match for a tiny winy virus that could bring the world to a halt. (The original text is in English ) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.)
Our vanity leads us to forget about the grace of God; that we may have a conceited idea that all our “great” achievements came solely from our own efforts and success. This deceptive idea then leads us away from God; He is being gradually shut out and phased out from our lives. We would then focus purely on ourselves, forgetting that all we have comes from God by His grace. Satan used these weaknesses to tempt David into thinking very highly of himself, and, with that, tempting him to take census of his army. David then glorified himself for the might of his army, instead of glorifying God. Are we not the same as David?
When we face difficulties, suffering and unfortunate circumstances, it is easy for us to feel sorrowful, thinking that God has mistreated us. Even some might think that God is punishing us in anger, bringing us one misfortune upon another. It is true that He will mercifully guide, edify, teach and correct us. He will also occasionally discipline, rebuke, and even punish us in anger.
But His wrath is just in a blink of an eye because He loves us. His love for us restraints His anger. When we repent, He will cease His punishing rod and stretch out His hands to comfort and heal us. He will not unceasingly blame nor will He bear grudges against us. He never fully deals with us according to our evil deeds nor does He inflict us according to the gravity of our sins. Therefore, [Psalm 30:5 says, “For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy corners with the morning.”]
There are many who are afraid of getting the jab because it will be prickly painful, albeit a moment. Just like a jab from a doctor, the discomfort and suffering that God allows would be temporary because God will not let the suffering remain for long, instead He will imprint all the beneficial effects in you. If the suffering lingers, it is because God thinks highly of you, and He wants to use your life to be a blessing to others. Let this lingering suffering increase our dependency on God and keep us on guard to avoid sins. The pain and suffering that He allowed is transient but His grace a lifetime.
Our lives are ever-changing just like the forms of the clouds in our sky; it folds, expands, contorts and disintegrates. At end of a path is a beautiful scenery. When there is not a path ahead of you, why do you not sit down to rest and observe the wonders of the skies? Instead of feeling anxious or grumbling, why do you not watch out for the change? Even in desperate moments, why do you not try to look sideways or to the back? There might be an alternative path. Even if you are at a dead end, look up! Even in your excruciating moments of suffering, look up to God. The wonders of the skies could reveal the mesmerising beauty of His words and glory.
Oh God! Because You love us, You don’t hold Your anger forever, You won’t blame forever, You didn’t treat us according to our sins, and You didn’t repay us according to our sins. Your anger is only a blink of an eye, but Your grace and love lasts a lifetime. When we turn to Your repentance, You immediately stop Your punishing rod and stretch out Your stroking hand to comfort my soul, so even though I cry throughout the night, I will cheer in the morning. Oh God! I praise You with a grateful heart. Prayer of thanksgiving is in the holy name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.
人往往因为有了成就，就常常会自覺有了保障，安居了，乐业了，便會忘記倚靠那能真正賜人平安的神……正像这一场病毒提醒我们，我们不能妄自尊大。病毒还提醒我们，无论你觉得自己多伟大，也无论别人觉得你多么伟大，一个小小的病毒就能让整个世界停摆。(原文是英文It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.)