letterpress letters spelling the word grace

Amazing Grace

Grace is defined as the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God; a virtue or excellence of divine origin.  Most older people are surprised by the practice of grace because we have been raised to believe we must earn what we receive.  Many of the younger generation are thought by the older to be entitled – always expecting they have a right to something for nothing.  Grace is neither.  We usually don’t understand it accurately until we have been the recipients.

An amazing biblical story of God’s grace occurred when Israel was fractured into two kingdoms.  The northern kingdom of Israel had forsaken God and was worshipping idols, while the southern kingdom of Judah sporadically worshipped God (determined by the King in power).  Ahab, one of the most evil kings of Israel (the north) was succeeded by his son, Joram, in the time that Elisha served as prophet.  Although Joram practiced evil by following in his father’s footsteps, God protected Joram by sending Elisha to warn of enemy ambushes, revealing their hiding places.  The enemy, Ben-Hadad king of Aram, retaliated by sending troops to kill Elisha who called upon God to strike them with blindness.  He then led the troops into the capital city of Samaria and turned them over to Joram.  God instructed that they not be killed but be given a feast and then released.  Ben-Hadad was so grateful that he did not raid Israel for a while.  Later, however, Ben Hadad mobilized his entire army and laid siege to Samaria, bringing about a terrible famine that caused some of the inhabitants to turn to cannibalism.  Joram blamed Elisha for the disaster and went to his house to kill him.  But “Elisha said, ‘Hear the Word of the Lord.  This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” (2 Kings 7:1)  Because of the severity of the Israelites’ suffering, this seemed impossible.

In spite of Joram’s disbelief and lack of seeking God, God’s grace first delivered the army of Israel from deadly ambushes, and then gave the enemy into the hands of Israel while protecting Elisha’s life. When Samaria was under siege, God’s heart was moved that Joram was wearing sackcloth (a sign of repentance) under his royal robes, and that the people were starving. So, God moved again without being considered or asked.  Deliverance came through producing supernatural sound of three armies of horses and chariots that sent panic throughout the Aramean army.  In their headlong flight, they left behind all of their possessions, food, and silver.  God’s faithful love for His people gave them the grace they did not deserve that ended the siege and their certain starvation.

How many of us have been recipients of grace we did not earn or deserve?  God’s greatest miracle of grace appeared in Jesus Who took the punishment for our sin to restore us to relationship with the Father and provide our eternal home.  To my shame, I didn’t understand the significance and enormity of Jesus’ sacrifice.  But while I was estranged from Him, mired in sin and depression, Jesus personally visited me – not something I ever imagined could happen, much less sought.  The condemnation I knew I deserved was not in His eyes – only the unconditional love I didn’t deserve.  That visitation forever changed me – it was unlike any human encounter I had ever had and remains unique today.  Now I see God’s grace everywhere: food in the fridge, favor with weather, endurance through physical challenges, provision in unexpected ways.  The list goes on; it is pervasive, unending grace.  At times I recognize my need and ask, but there are numerous times the Lord knows the deep need I am unable to verbalize and sovereignly blesses me.

When life presses in and the enemy launches his best threats, it is the perfect time to recall the amazing grace of God.  With overwhelming gratitude for our Lord and Savior, we can join in Paul’s prayer from Ephesians 3:20-21“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”


  1. Phil on July 9, 2024 at 7:50 am

    Amazing word!