The key to a life of peace is accepting God’s amazing grace
I spent a lot of years being frustrated about a lot of things. But one of my biggest problems used to be the frustration I had about me. I didn’t like myself.
So I tried very hard to change. I didn’t like my personality. I felt like I was too bold, straightforward, loud and expressive. Along with that, it seemed that every message I heard at church (and we were in church a lot) just pointed out more things that were wrong with me. I remember at times wondering, How can one person have so much wrong with them?
I tried over and over to be like people I thought were what I should be like. And I tried very hard to be “good.” But all my trying just made me very, very frustrated!
Eventually, two things happened that helped me get a breakthrough. First, I came to realize the truth about who God created me to be. He was the One who gave me this personality—and He was not going to help me be somebody else! And second, I learned from 1 Peter 5:5 that my pride was keeping me from getting the help I needed from God to make the changes He wanted me to make.
Let’s take a look at this verse. It says, “Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility. ... For God sets Himself against the proud ... [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble” (AMP).
It was very eye-opening to realize that much of my frustration was happening because God was frustrating my efforts to change myself in my own strength! My pride—trying to change myself instead of depending on God and trusting Him to change me—was actually keeping me from getting what I really needed.
Every time we feel frustration, it means we’ve stopped relying on God and are trying to make something happen on our own, in our own way. Pride says, “I know it all, and I don’t need any help, thank you.” And God hates pride. But He gives grace to the humble.
Well, I finally understood that God would give grace to me if I would humble myself before Him and totally depend on Him to change me. The truth is, I couldn’t change myself.
I had to say, “God, I’ll change if You change me.” And I had to receive the grace of God to trust Him and stop trying to do it myself. So what is the grace of God?
One common definition is, “God’s riches at Christ’s expense.” This is true, but there’s more to it.
Grace is also, “God’s power coming to us freely, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle and effort.” His grace is available to us every day of our lives for every situation we have. We just have to receive it by faith—which God also gives us.
If we put our faith in God and really depend on Him, He will give us the ability to do what we need to do.
I really want you to get this, because we all have situations in our lives that are difficult—some more than others—and God doesn’t want us to be miserable while we’re in them. He wants to give us a special grace to go through these times with peace and joy. When we do, this attitude is what will minister to people around us and cause them to want what we have.
So what are you doing with your faith? Are you putting faith in yourself, trying to do on your own what only God can do? Are you trying to solve your own problems, change yourself, get your boss to promote or recognize you, make your kids do what you think they should?
Instead of frustrating yourself and putting yourself in opposition to God, put your faith in Him and trust Him to do what you can’t. When you do, His grace will come to you and enable you to do what you really need to do.
That’s amazing grace!
Joyce Meyer is the author of nearly 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Power Thoughts (Hachette). She is the host of the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs. Visit her online at joycemeyer.org.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?