God, Grace, and Gratitude

by Nancy Kay Grace

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

A small, wooden plaque on my office shelf contains three words: God, Grace, and Gratitude.

When I saw it in the store, the simplicity of the message spoke to my heart. The three words remind me of the blessings God has freely given and guides my response to them. Let’s look at the interesting connection between those three words.

God. The “God of all grace” is one of the names given to God in scripture (1 Peter 5:10). God is the author of grace, freely given though we are undeserving. God’s greatest gift is the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. The blessings in daily life like family, sustenance, or even the next breath we take are also gifts given out of grace. I praise God for this amazing salvation and the daily outpouring of his grace gifts.

Grace. The word for grace in Greek is charis, meaning goodwill or favor. This is also the root word for charity, which is generosity and helpfulness shown especially toward the needy.

Charity is a free gift. We are in need of God’s free gift. Every day, I need connection with the Lord. God, the author of grace, generously gives us his favor as a free gift, not from anything you or I do.

Gratitude. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for gratitude is also charis. Our response to receiving grace from the Giver of grace is gratitude. The difference is that one charis (grace) flows from the Giver and the other charis (gratitude) is the response of the receiver. Grace flows from God to us; his blessings flow to us. We receive them with gratitude, the counterpart to grace.

God, grace, and gratitude are related words that spill into our lives. No matter what season in life you are experiencing, whether it’s a time of great blessing when things are going right or a time of distress when life overwhelms you, the God of all grace is present.

Thanksgiving is more than a season. When we begin and end every day with thankfulness, we gain a better perspective. Simple ways to live with overflowing thankfulness are to make a gratitude list and refer to it often, to thank others for their impact on you, and to thank God for the small and large grace-gifts in your life. Cultivating a heart of gratitude lifts our eyes to the expansive gift of God’s grace.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is the speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel.

Join the conversation: How does gratitude help your perspective?

Simple Daily Blessings

by Nancy Kay Grace

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

The overnight rain gave way to a sunny day. The autumn Sunday afternoon turned into the perfect day for a field trip to a local pumpkin patch with my two-year-old grandson and his parents.

In the muddy field of pumpkins, little Zach spotted a small round pumpkin, ran over to it, pointed and exclaimed, “Punkin!”  He toddled over to another pint-sized one, picked it up, and again burst out with “Punkin!” He then dropped it in pursuit of another.

Tripping over the vines in the mud, he headed toward a big orange one that was taller than his knees. After groaning to pick it up, he gave up when he spotted a small white pumpkin. He ran over to it, letting out another joyful squeal. The mud didn’t bother him. Zach’s excitement over each discovery was contagious. We laughed and pointed out more pumpkins for him. He never tired of finding the different sizes and kinds of gourds lying on the ground. Each one was new to him. Before we left, Zach chose his own special pumpkin, which he held on his lap during the ride home.

This sweet autumn memory makes me wonder— am I as excited as a toddler discovering new things as I see God’s simple blessings in daily life?

The verse in Lamentations reveals how God’s compassions are new every morning. They are as fresh as the crisp, morning air after an overnight rain. God’s handiwork is available for us each day, if we have eyes to see it. His faithfulness and provision overflow into our laps if we would embrace His goodness.

In the busyness of our lives, may we be eager to discover the wonders of God as seen through the eyes of a toddler, pointing out the simple blessings that are all around us.

Heavenly Father, thank You for being faithful with new mercies every morning. Open my eyes to see how You are working in this crazy world. Help me to walk joyfully with You, discovering simple daily blessings. Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: What have you discovered about God lately?

Pardon the Interruption

by Nancy Kay Grace

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5

This wasn’t supposed to happen!

Have you thought that when an interruption disturbs your routine? Interruptions drop into life all the time, demanding our attention. Sometimes they are small, like discovering your car needs unexpected maintenance. Or walk into the kitchen to find water leaking from an unknown source ruining the floor. Addressing the problem takes time, effort, and resources.

Major interruptions have larger implications, like hearing the news of a cancer diagnosis or that you are soon relocating. These demand more energy to handle, often leading to bigger decisions affecting your family life.

Many people in the Bible experienced significant life interruptions and were used by God in the midst of the disruption.

Moses was minding his business, tending his sheep, when suddenly a burning bush interrupted his life. God got his attention and gave Moses an assignment. At first, he didn’t take the interruption well. He thought he wasn’t capable enough to lead the Israelites and argued with God (see Exodus 3 and 4).

Eventually, Moses yielded to God’s interruption as direction for himself and the Israelites. He went on to lead the Israelites out of captivity and through the desert to the Promised Land. 

Do we handle frustration by throwing our hands up in frustration or in surrender to God’s plan?

When interruptions occur, God guides us if we look to Him.

Two years ago, my husband and I wondered what the next season of life would bring as he considered retirement from church ministry. We sought the Lord for guidance.

At just the right time, God presented a ministry option for us. I was excited for this new opportunity, but was also conflicted, because it meant a major relocation away from family. Like Moses, I argued with God. Didn’t He know my dilemma? Had He heard my cries and prayers?

Yes, God did.

One day while worshipping and praying for direction at a conference, I heard a divine whisper to my soul say: “I’ve heard your cries and your prayers, and will take care of you and your family.”

God whispered the exact phrase that I used, which brought deep peace during tearful worship.

We moved. It was hard to leave friends and farther away from our grandchildren. But in this new season, we have seen God move in unexpected ways. He has provided good friendships that support us. The Lord led us to top-notch medical care, when I had another tongue cancer diagnosis. We have been able to visit our family more frequently than we anticipated, in spite of the distance. God has stretched my faith in using us in a nationwide ministry to encourage pastors and their spouses, for His purposes.

Interruptions in the midst of life occur. When God says, “Pardon the interruption,” Psalm 25:5 NIV offers hope. “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

By looking to God, His grace will steady your uncertain heart to step into the next season.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Has God “interrupted” you lately?

Can Turmoil and Peace Co-Exist?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Do you long for peace in a world of turmoil?

Have you found yourself overextended by pressures or frazzled by uncertainty? The pandemic has added another layer of stress on everyone, as we’ve had to adapt in many ways. Add to that any interpersonal problems or anxiety regarding health issues, and concentration becomes more difficult. I find my mind spins faster and flits from one thought to another when confusion ramps up. When the mind races, the heart loses peace.

At those times, peace seems unattainable and far away.

Yet Jesus gave the promise of peace. How can peace co-exist with turmoil?

I witnessed this unusual co-existence while my husband and I hiked along a mountain stream. The early summer rains and snow melt flowed through a valley. Although sections of the trail were underwater, we kept hiking, stepping on rocks to crisscross the winding stream. We were determined to see the waterfall at the end of the trail. As we approached the waterfall, we heard the roar of the water tumbling off a rugged cliff from thirty feet above. Closer, the crash of the water over the rocks sprayed my face. It was exhilarating being close enough to feel the coolness and hear the power of nature.          

Glancing down at the pool of water at the base of the falls, I noticed a great contrast. One side of the pool churned and bubbled under the waterfall, but the water on the other side of the rocky basin remained smooth and undisturbed. On the calm water rested a butterfly, oblivious to the swirling water only a few feet away.

Crashing water on one side, gentle butterfly on the other. Turmoil and peace coexisted side by side.

Peace in the Bible is characterized by shalom, which is more than the absence of hostility. It is the wholeness that comes through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Peace allows us to rest secure in him in the midst of insecurity. The Lord is the creator of real peace, a true refuge of security and safety.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, gave us these promises for the times of turmoil:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Remembering those promises calmed my anxious heart when I faced the uncertainty of cancer surgery. Jesus gave me true peace in the midst of turmoil. By spending time with the Lord in prayer and the Scriptures, God’s power and tranquility soaks into us.

What a blessing it is to look to the Prince of Peace instead of the turmoil of the world!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Do you have an anxious heart?

Do You Feel Pressed In on All Sides?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Have you ever felt pressed in from all sides, with nowhere is go in a difficult situation?

Recently my husband Rick and I drove to a short getaway from the pressures of life. Our destination was several hundred miles away, so I settled in for the long drive.

Dormant brown farm ground stretched as far as I could see. Further south in warmer weather, blossoming dogwoods and blooming redbuds dotted the countryside. The drive was uneventful until road construction funneled us into a one-lane section of highway. Bright red taillights of the vehicles in front of us indicated a delay ahead. Sure enough, we were stopped on the one lane Interstate, on a bridge over a river. There was no way to turn around. We were pinned in by traffic, with a fuel tanker truck ahead of us. All we could do was turn the car off and look out the window. We waited. No one moved.

That is, until the backup lights of the semi truck in front of us indicated movement toward us.

The gap closed between our car and the truck, inch by inch. As the truck got closer, my eyes grew big and palms got sweaty. My husband jammed our car in reverse, but could only back up a few feet. Panic set in. I prayed. Life was at a standstill.

Would we be crushed between the truck and the vehicle behind us? What were we to do? We were over water on a single lane road with no place to go!

Have you ever been in a situation where there seemed to be no way out? God’s Word gives us hope when we’re pressed in on all sides.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV reads, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

The Apostle Paul wrote those words referring to the trials he and others suffered, while teaching us a valuable faith lesson: trials will happen, but with Jesus, we can press on.

At different times I’ve felt hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down. When my husband lost his job, I wondered how we could provide for our young family. Within a few weeks, God opened a door for another ministry position. When I got a cancer diagnosis, I cried out to God. God gave me deep peace and assurance in the uncertainty.

While I may feel pressure and wonder how I’ll go forward out of the mess, the Lord has provided strength to not be crushed or in permanent despair. This passage reminds me to look to the living hope of Jesus beyond the trial. God has provided for our needs when life seemed out of control.

Thankfully, the tanker truck stopped when it touched our car’s bumper. Whew! Our panic eased. We waited for an hour before traffic moved. Although we made it to our destination later than hoped, we were safe.

As I reflect on the weekend getaway, I remember the laughter and good times more than the stress of being pinned in on a bridge.

When we’re in a tight situation, it seems like it will last forever. We get anxious while we wait for the outcome. Eventually, in God’s time and with a different perspective, God provides a way. Life once again moves forward.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Are you in a tight situation?

A Different Kind of Fruit

by Nancy Kay Grace

Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord…That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

A friend of ours planted a small peach tree in our backyard, a gift to encourage us after a time an intense time of loss from the passing of our parents. We enjoyed the view from kitchen window, watching birds flutter in its branches.

Every year, the tree blossomed. Light pink flowers covered every branch. We anticipated fruit as it matured.

However, that never happened.

The tree blossomed in the early spring, only to be caught in a late-winter freeze. Overnight, the flowers dropped to the ground. When the weather warmed, a few more blossoms popped out on the tips of the branches. The fruit was small, and ended up being eaten by birds and squirrels. This happened every spring. 

We cared for the tree, spraying it against blight every spring and trimming any damaged branches.

One spring, a series of heavy rainstorms saturated our area. Straight-line winds pushed the medium-sized peach tree over, so much that the full, leafy branches bent toward the ground, almost lying on the soggy grass. Was the tree dead? We wondered if the tree would survive.

When we looked at the base of the trunk, the root system was exposed above dirt, but not broken. With the help of friends, my husband pushed the tree back in place, staking it up to once again become straight. Soil was added to the base of the tree for extra support.

The peach tree continued growing because the taproot went deep into the soil. It was vulnerable to the changeable weather but survived each storm.  Although it didn’t bear peaches, the tree had a different kind of fruit—protection for birds and shade in the summer, and our enjoyment in watching the birds.

Deep roots allowed the tree to stand, even when it looked like it would not survive the harsh winds.

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV expresses Christian growth this way: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”

Although the peach tree wasn’t planted by water, its roots grew deep to an underground water source. As believers, we need to send our roots deep into the soil of God’s Word. We gain spiritual stability for the storms that come our way. When reading the encouraging words of the Bible, hope is restored. Our souls are nourished from the Word, so we can grow and bear fruit for the Lord, showing His love to those around us. 

May the Lord be your nourishment and stability as you send spiritual roots deep into His Word.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.

 Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: How do you deepen your roots with God?

Spring Awakening

by Nancy Kay Grace

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10 NIV

I need renewal in my dreary spirit after the long winter months. The colder-than-usual temperatures drag on and the deeper-than-desired snow refuses to melt, affecting my attitude. By the end of winter, I get antsy for spring to bring warmer air and signs of tulips and green grass.

Spring is a time of awakening, with fresh beauty of the budding trees, singing cardinals and chirping robins. New life is seen in the blossoming forsythia and perky daffodils breaking though the crusty earth. Creation welcomes the warmer change after a long, dormant winter. As I observe the changes in creation, I gain hope for renewal.

A pleasant walk in the warmer sunshine brightens my heart and mind. A visit with a long time friend refreshes my spirit.

Do you need a spring awakening and fresh renewal for your soul? Consider adding these practices to your daily routine. 

Reading the word of God renews the heart and mind.

Just like opening a window on a spring day freshens the house, the word of God revives my spirit.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 NIV

Prayer cleanses the spirit of the barriers that keep us from seeking God.

Coming to our heavenly Father in prayer, we can confess our weaknesses. The Holy Spirit melts any hardness of heart. He is always ready to welcome our prayers and renew us.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 NIV

Fellowship—connecting with others—is an encouragement.

We were made for community. We can encourage one another in our faith while we also benefit from the connection. Invite a friend to join you on a walk and enjoy the new season together.

“If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB

Listen for God.

When the Lord refreshes my heart, I am more open to hear from him. My mind is cleared of daily concerns so I can focus on Him.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

Lasting renewal of the heart comes slowly, like a long soaking rain on parched soil, making it useful again. The Lord works in our lives moment by moment—through reading the Bible, prayer, and sharing fellowship with others. Through these, we grow in our faith and hear the still, small voice of God whisper hope to us. He brings renewal to our hearts, just as He renews the earth. 

Are you ready for a spring awakening in your soul?

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter.

You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: How do you renew your mind when things seem so dark and dreary?

Let God Love You!

by Nancy Kay Grace

Why is it that even though we know John 3:16 by heart, we still doubt God’s love? We think of His love in general terms of loving the world, not specifically for loving us—you or me. Or maybe we even think that God doesn’t like us. We struggle to believe and accept the basic truth. We make up excuses saying we are unlovable.

Yet God still loves us.

I’d driven 350 miles to celebrate my grandson’s third birthday. It was a fun weekend with lots of giggles and cake. I loved reading car stories to him and seeing his interest in the details of his favorite construction toys. He’s full of questions as he tries to understand life, such as “When will I be two again?” and “If possums hang upside down, do they get a headache?”

It’s easy to respond in love when the questions are innocent. But when an independent spirit rises to challenge the status quo, our response becomes a loving decision.

When it was time for me to leave, he ran to a different room. He wouldn’t let me hug him one more time. He hid.

He probably wanted to make a game of hiding from me. I left without a final hug from my little guy. Although I felt a bit saddened, I still love him. He’s only a child of three. I’ll see him again and there will be more hugs and books to read.

Too often we are like that with God—we hide from Him. We don’t accept the love that is expressed in the written Word, through the life of Jesus, or shown through other people. We hide in a childlike manner.

At the core of God’s nature is unconditional love, which spills out into every other attribute. It is sacrificial and life-giving, not sentimental and syrupy smooth talk. Even on our worst day, God loves us deeply.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1John 3:1 NIV).

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)

We try to understand God’s unconditional love, but wrestle to fully grasp it. Sometimes we reject this gift when we struggle with low self-worth, but that is when we need it most.

God continues to reach out to us with love anyway, faithful and steadfast.

May we pray Ephesians 3:18 for a deeper grasp of God’s love:

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is” (NLT)

His arms are open. Won’t you let God love you?

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter.

You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Are you comfortable at the thought of God’s love?

Time, Days, and Wisdom

by Nancy Kay Grace

In January we think about resolutions, goals, a fresh start, and time. A new year has begun with all its promise, opportunity, and challenge.

A. W. Tozer said, “Time is a resource that is non-renewable and non-transferable. You cannot store it, slow it up, hold it up, divide is up, or give it up. You can’t hoard it up or save it for a rainy day—when it’s lost, it is unrecoverable. When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

Wow. In this day of concern for non-renewable resources, do we stop to consider time as one of them? It is something that vanishes every day and cannot be replenished.

In Psalm 90:12, written by Moses, we read: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” How can we practice this wise prayer?

Seek God to determine what is most important. Moses depended on God to lead His people. He asked for God to teach him. In the everyday details of life, can you ask God to teach you how best to use your time? Create a daily to-do list. If there are still tasks on it at the end of the day, begin the next day with those. Asking for God’s guidance in planning the day helps overcome flightiness amidst distractions.

Realize that time is irreplaceable, a valuable asset given to each of us. Instead of thinking how you are going to spend your time, think about how you are going to invest your time. The verse reminds us that life is short (our days are numbered). Consider it in a positive way: what activities and people nurture you? Make time for more of those and less for the things that drain you. Time invested with the Lord at the beginning of the day increases productivity in the long run.

Live wisely, making each day count. The verse focuses on the day, not the year. How can you share the love of God throughout your day? Be diligent to let your light shine in your family and at work. A heart of wisdom results from seeking God and obeying Him.

All the days of our lives matter to God. Time is a non-renewable resource and gift given to all of us. There are many choices for how we will invest what we have been given. What will each of us do with the 24 hours in each day and the 365 days in 2021?

Seek God daily and live for Him to gain a heart of wisdom.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter.

 https://www.facebook.com/nancykaygrace 

https://www.instagram.com/nancykaygrace/

Join the conversation: How do you plan to invest your time in the coming year?

Hope for a Broken Mess

by Nancy Kay Grace

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1 NIV

I ordered a gift for a family member, expecting it to be delivered in time for Christmas, so I could wrap it in bright paper. I imagined it was the perfect gift for the person.

When it arrived, I shook the box and heard pieces rattle on the inside. Something was wrong; the corner of the box was crushed. Upon opening it, small pieces of porcelain fell to the floor. The special gift was a broken mess; my hope of giving it crumbled.

Often we find ourselves in the broken mess of life, sifting through pieces of shattered dreams. We expect things to be perfect, but they end up a disaster. Expectations fall apart.

The world is a broken mess on a large scale, as we’ve seen this year with the many challenges that have made us weary. Individuals are broken mess on a smaller scale with physical or mental health problems, financial troubles, or relationship difficulties. The result is the same, no matter how large or small the scale—pain, disillusionment, and hurt. discouragement and loss of hope abound.

The good news is, that in the middle of our mess, God brings hope.

At just the right time in history, God intervened with a redemption plan for all eternity through the birth of a baby who would be the Messiah. His plan brought a different kind of hope, an eternal hope.

God became like one of us. Jesus came to bring hope to the broken mess of sin in the world. Jesus left the majesty and splendor of heaven to enter our sinful world, for us—to breathe our air and walk on our soil. To redeem our hurting lives from pain and bring us hope in our mess.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus Christ coming into the broken world.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1 NIV).

Jesus read these words from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah at the beginning of his ministry and stated they were fulfilled (Luke 4:18-21 NIV).

What does the prophecy and purpose mean for you and me? When I am poor in spirit or lacking provisions, I can turn to the Savior for hope.

I can rest in the Messiah’s love when I am brokenhearted. God’s word offers comfort. When I need recovery from spiritual blindness, the Lord opens my eyes to see his truth. Jesus offers freedom and forgiveness from the chains of past mistakes and hurts. The love of God reaches us, right where we are, bringing hope to our broken mess.

Whatever you’re facing, may you look to Lord to find hope. It’s one of perfect gifts from the heavenly Father.

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of hope in the broken mess of life. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Please visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for the monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. https://www.facebook.com/nancykaygrace https://www.instagram.com/nancykaygrace/

Join the conversation: How has the Lord directed you in the past?