Found By Grace: Jenny
Excited to be sharing this post from Jenny, someone who inspires so many with her passion for Jesus and the way she loves people so well. Jenny is writing about how she has seen God's grace working in her life, and some of the lessons she's been learning along the way. Take some time in your day to read Jenny's post and think about the grace and love that is freely given to us from our Heavenly Father - what a promise!
Grace is a word that I have grown up hearing. It is a word that, as Christians, I think we can use frequently without really considering what it actually means for our lives. I have been a Christian for the last twelve years but it is only in the last few years that I have really began to understand what grace is all about and what it means for me personally.
As I was brought up in a Christian home I always thought that I knew how a Christian should live. I made a commitment to live as a Christian at any early age and I did have a relationship with Jesus but somehow I always felt as though I had to live up to certain expectations. I think I put most of these expectations on myself as I felt that I had to live a perfect Christian life to make God and my family proud. I knew that I was saved by Jesus’ death on the cross but still felt that I had to live a perfect life just to make sure.
However in recent years my life has not turned out as I would have planned due to various reasons.
I have discovered that life is actually really messy.
As Christians we try to appear strong in coping with difficult situations and we feel weak when we can’t cope or when we react in ways that we later regret. Recently I have not coped with these situations as I would have liked to and have acted in ways which I definitely regret. However I am gradually learning to appreciate how amazing God’s grace really is. I am beginning to see so many areas in my life where I am weak but God is so strong. God’s grace is not dependent on us and our ability to live a perfect life.
As 2 Corinthians 12:9 states:
“My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 corinthians 12:9)
This truth has been so important in my life recently as I am learning that God’s grace means that I can live in freedom. I make mistakes all the time but God’s amazing grace covers all of our weaknesses. We cannot do anything to earn this grace. He offers it to us just because he loves us. I think that truth is hard to accept but also one of the most exciting and freeing things about the Christian faith.
Recently I was reading Hosea and it really challenged me when thinking about how much God loved his people. The people of Israel had fallen away from God and were not living to please him but he still loved them and pursued them. This shows just how amazing and unconditional the grace of God really is.
Hosea 11:8 says:
“Oh how can I give up on you Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboum? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows” (HOSEA 11:8)
God’s grace is not about what we do. Even our best efforts to live a perfect life will never be good enough. For me being “found by grace” means being set free from rules and expectations, being able to live confidently knowing that we can hold on to the promises of God, knowing that even in our toughest and darkest days that God will never leave us or forsake us and that his grace is more than enough for us.
At the moment I especially love the lyrics from Cornerstone (Hillsong):
“When darkness seems to hide his face, I’ll rest on his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”
What an incredible promise to hold on to: the unchanging grace of our Saviour.
Having grown up in Ballymena, Jenny now studies History & Theology at Grey College, Durham University. She loves playing sports, and if she's not on the hockey pitch you can find her in some kind of fancy-dress outfit much to her discomfort and/or catching up with friends. A keen member of Christians In Sport and Emmanuel Church, Jenny has loved her her time in Durham so far and is excited for what the next few years will bring.