One weekday morning several months ago, I woke up to a familiar tune. In my grogginess I realized my husband had personalized the alarm on my phone.
He knew the words of Tenth Avenue North’s By Your Side held a reminder I desperately needed. A reminder that his grace covers me, that I don’t need to strive to attain his love.
I’d fallen into the old, familiar habit of trying to earn God’s love again and the lyrics of the song washed over me like raindrops on arid soil.
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
To where will you go, child,
Tell me where will you run
Where will you run?Tenth Avenue North, “By Your Side”
We have a tendency to run from what we don’t understand, don’t we? Since we can’t comprehend how God could love us despite all of the mistakes we’ve made and the times we’ve messed it all up, we fight it.
I tend to fight Him most when I feel as though I’ve let someone down. My people pleasing tendencies lead me to believe I have to be everything to everyone, and when I can’t, I assume God must be unhappy too.
Right? I mean, surely. It makes perfect sense. Um no, and therein lies the problem. Because God’s grace doesn’t make sense.
God doesn’t expect us to please every single person in our life. He simply wants us to abide in his love.
We can lift our hands and simply say, “Thank you. Thank you for covering me even though I don’t deserve it.”
Today, let’s not forget that faith, by definition, means trusting what we don’t fully understand. It means putting our hope in what we don’t see, but will one day behold completely.
Here are four truths to hold onto when you think you’ve let God down:
Others may turn their backs on you, walk away, or gossip. Do you know who endured similar ridicule and abandonment? Jesus. Paul says it best in Galatians:
“If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 NIV
2. God’s approval has nothing to do with your good works.
He paid the price on Calvary. Do you think he would have endured the nails if there was something you could do to pay your own way? The good works we do are works He planned. (Ephesians 2:10) His Spirit empowers us, not our own strength.
3. God’s not going to let you go. He’s placed his seal on you, and his seal is eternal.
Once you accepted Him, he placed his Spirit with in you. That’s his seal, friend. (2 Corinthians 1:21) It’s a deposit guaranteeing when Jesus Christ appears, he will look at you and say, “She’s mine.” You can grieve Him, but God will always go after his wandering sheep.
4. God doesn’t look at your past sin.
Once we confess it, he remembers it no more. (Psalm 103:12) Not because he can’t, but he chooses not to. He gives you a fresh slate, made clean by the blood of his precious son. So why do we continue to dwell on sin he’s already forgiven?
Friends, when we soak in the truth of God’s love, it changes us. It strengthens us to stand firm against the lies we hear every day and the attacks of the one who wants to defeat us.
Let his grace permeate your defenses today. And when it does, thank Him for the victory we have in Him alone.