Sola Gratia.Martin Luther
By grace alone. That’s what the two words mean that shaped the Reformation. Don’t worry, I don’t want to write a theological treatise about it here. The term grace has a special meaning for me. It is possible that my interpretation is not universally valid, but it may still be helpful.
It was like that then, and it is still like that today. In his grace, God chose and saved a part of the people of Israel. But if this was an undeserved gift, then it had nothing to do with his own achievements. Otherwise his gift would no longer be undeserved.Romans 11:5+6
Grace is something undeserved. You get it without any reward, just because someone loves you. God loves you! And he is merciful. All of us humans did not deserve to be loved or cared for by God. We did not deserve that Jesus went to the cross for us and took our guilt upon himself. If you are honest: No human being is perfect! Not even you. And neither am I. Everyone has their skeletons in the closet. Everybody messes up. Hurts other people. Does the wrong thing. Nevertheless God loves you. Me too. Everyone! Even the most evil criminal. God loves people, not the evil they do, because He is just. This God is told about in the Bible.
In my life
My wife and I have several “guiding principles” for our marriage: one is that we “do not let the sun go down on our anger“; that is, we want to settle disputes immediately, not sit them out and have them explode later because too much has accumulated. Another is “Sola Gratia” – grace alone. We’ve had that one from the beginning of our relationship.
For us, it is God’s grace that we are both allowed to believe. It is grace that He is the boss in our lives.
For us it is the grace of God that we have been able to have a happy relationship together for more than 15 years – of course there is friction from time to time, but it really doesn’t matter.
For us it is the grace of God that we are allowed to have four healthy, great children. We are allowed to experience preservation so often, because our youngest is a fearless go-getter…
For us it is the grace of God that I can have a job, with which our family is materially very well provided for; with which we can afford a beautiful house with a large garden in the country; with which we can help other people financially.
There are many, many small and big things that we get. In the beginning of our relationship, money was tight, but it was always enough. We have dear friends that we can rely on. We were and are allowed to see many beautiful things in the world. Other people do good things for us. We don’t deserve all this. We are not always the super good people. God is not always in the first place, as He should be. Nevertheless, we are richly blessed. That makes me grateful. Very much so.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that sometimes I trample on this grace by grumbling and complaining and scolding. But in essence, I must not do that. I have no claim on grace. As I said, it is all an undeserved gift. I want to get better and keep my eyes on God, not on what spoils my mood. God is the center. He deserves the honor and the gratitude.
On the other hand
There are times when we are really miserable… . Of course we may cry out to God, bring our sorrow and pain. Of course we can be honest with God and tell Him everything. Sometimes we feel unjustly treated. Sometimes God brings us through adverse circumstances on the right path. This article on powerconnection.de fits well to this (only in German).
What I want to say with it
On the one hand: Be thankful for what you have. It is a gift! Rejoice in what God does good for you. Be aware of what good happens to you and thank God for it.
On the other hand: Bring God the bad things that happen and ask for change, unload your burden on the cross, let Him act. And trust Him that He can help you. Turn your eyes upward. You can hope for miracles! If you trust Him, God will give you what you need, when you need it. Sometimes hard to believe. Sometimes hard to understand. Especially when bad things happen. But it does. Biblical example: David was persecuted by Saul for years, even though he was already anointed king. But the time was not yet ripe. David learned to trust God in the persecution by Saul, to be honest with Him, he matured spiritually and humanly and was then ready to lead the people of Israel. Meaning: maybe the mess you’re in right now is God’s training camp for your task.
And: Grace is a gift. But a gift must be accepted in order to receive it. Have open hands and an open heart for it!