I’m blessed to have Author Amanda Beth as my guest blogger this week. I met Amanda through a writing friend on Facebook and I’m very grateful God crossed our paths. She’s a sweet encourager with a huge heart for Jesus and for rightly dividing the word of Truth, as well as an inspiring writer sharing God’s word and its daily application on her blog. She’s a wife of fifteen years and homeschooling mother of four. I’ve learned so much from her weekly posts and her book, You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.
Amanda is sharing her powerful post, God’s Unmerited Favor. Her words blessed me and I know they’ll bless and encourage others. Please leave a comment for my dear friend and stop by her blog to read more of her insightful, Spirit-lead posts.
God’s Unmerited Favor
by Amanda Beth
I heard a heartbreaking story on the radio recently. A woman called into the station because she was hurting deeply. She had been raped. She’d given her kids up and was living on the street. She felt hopeless. She didn’t know how to get out of her situation. I was in tears when she cried out, “I’m tired! I don’t want to fight anymore!”
Have you ever felt you couldn’t take another day? Have you felt as if everything around you was falling apart? Have you ever dug yourself so deep into a pit you didn’t know how to get out? Or worse, have you ever been innocently thrown into a pit and didn’t understand why God allowed it?
I had a situation last year that upset me greatly. 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 found it meant “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.
God’s favor doesn’t mean our trials will go away and everything will work out the way we want 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 bigger.
The Apostle Paul experienced more trials than most of us have experienced, or will ever experience. Yet he stated, “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 him and drew him closer to the Lord. He knew God’s grace was all he needed. It was sufficient for everything he had to go through. 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 this wonderful quote in “Make Me a Legend” by pastor and author, Chuck Balsamo. Chuck stated, “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 favor over your situation and 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. The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. —Psalm 18:16-20
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 is greater than you!
Amanda Beth is a wife of fifteen years, mother of four children, and author of You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children (available at: Amazon & Barnes & Noble). She has experienced a transformation in her life and marriage since she surrendered her heart to Christ ten years ago. She now passionately desires to help other individuals and families find healing in Christ. Her teachings on marriage and spiritual growth can be found on her website (amandabeth.net) and her blog (sharingtruths.com).