God’s Grace; January 26, 2021

Psalm 107:43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.

Without giving specifics, speaking of “some” and “others,” the Psalmist has given case after case of people who were blessed by God and then turned away from Him, the consequences of that, and then how God corrected the situation. In this last verse he’s basically saying, “Got that? Straighten up and fly right.” It’s interesting that in the last line, where the English says “great love,” the Japanese says “grace/blessing.” In every one of the examples given the people deserved the troubles they got, but God resolved their situation anyway. Properly considered, that should eliminate any sense of entitlement. That’s why the Psalmist says, “Whoever is wise.” It is undeniable that we have a strong tendency to be foolish, rather than wise, and feeling entitled to blessings is a prime example of that. Study after study has shown that gratitude is the key to satisfaction and happiness, and a sense of entitlement robs us of that. We speak of “karma,” and it’s certainly true that actions and attitudes have consequences, but we can never build up enough “good karma” to compensate for all the times we’ve ignored or directly disobeyed God. We’re totally dependent on the grace of God, but the good news is, that’s enough! (2 Corinthians 12:9) The better we realize that the more grateful to God we will be, and the happier as a result.

I could make a really long list of blessings I’ve received that I had nothing to do with acquiring, starting with the genetics and home environment I received at birth. I know few people who were as blessed as I was in that area, but I had nothing to do with it being that way. Other things, one after another, can be added to that list, but in every case my input has been negligible. I have had moments when my carelessness, foolishness, or outright rebellion caught up with me, but I have no room to complain about that. 40 years ago a friend wrote a little chorus that goes, “We’re blessed, we’re blessed, we’re blessed, we are blessed. We have shelter, clothing, and food; we are blessed. We’re blessed, we’re blessed, we’re blessed, we are blessed. We don’t deserve it and yet, we are blessed.” I have learned the truth of that, and yet I deal constantly with people who can’t seem to grasp it. I guess my understanding of it is something else to be grateful for! I need to keep speaking the truth in love to those around me, not making light of their troubles and suffering but seeking to help them realize that they are recipients of God’s grace, and as such should be grateful.

Father, we are so blessed and yet so foolish. Help me grasp the magnificence of Your grace more and more and help others do likewise, so that in the middle of the troubles of this world we may rejoice in Christ Jesus the Lord. (John 16:33) Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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