By Gertrude Flynn-White -12/18/2019
Grace is a virtue of divine origin. It is the undeserved favour manifested through God’s unfailing love. Some people view grace as a gift from God as we often ask Him for strength to endure trials, struggles or adversity.
Chuck Colson, the founder of “Prison Fellowship”, on a visit to Maxwell Federal Prison Camp in Alabama, sang the hymn, “Amazing Grace” and then called it “The Prisoner’s National Anthem.” At that time Chuck was referring to the hymn, “Amazing Grace” which John Newton wrote to describe his personal journey out of spiritual blindness into the light of God’s grace.
In 1748, John Newton was on board a slave ship called the Greyhound when he experienced a violent storm that threatened the lives of the crew members. Seeing a member of his crew swept overboard and his ship being ripped apart, made him reflect on the state of his life. In retrospect, he realized that he had hurt many people, wasted his life, disobeyed God, and might even die in the raging storm. After he prayed for forgiveness and asked God to help him, he survived the storm. His life was subsequently transformed.
Being transformed by grace is a process during which we ask God for forgiveness, thank Him for His benefits, activate our faith, trust Him, learn to pray without ceasing, and apply God’s word to our daily lives.
So many times we find ourselves being imprisoned by the circumstances around us but God’s amazing grace is available to everyone but it can only be accessed when we open our doors to Him. He wants us to be free from the guilt of our past, the weight of our present struggles, and the anxieties of the future.
In my memoir, “My Valley Experience -Beating the Odds,” I shared my personal experience of facing adversity and how God’s grace and favour, allowed me to rise above the overwhelming circumstances that had crushed me. On page 70, I shared the following encouraging words,
“Grace is when we get what we don’t expect or deserve. God has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace. We don’t deserve God’s favour but because of his unconditional love for us, we receive His grace and forgiveness in spite of our past.
We are given a chance to start afresh, pick up the pieces if we may, and move on. We might not be perfect, but remember, He has forgiven us. He promises that His grace is sufficient to keep us, so we should not be tempted to go back to the mistakes of our past.
We should always cultivate good thoughts and remain positive or optimistic as much as possible. The grief of the past sometimes clouds our minds, but the sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness of our past. The dark clouds of doubt hanging over us can be replaced with confidence knowing that God is still in control.
Our mind is like a magnet and will draw whatever we think about. If we think of success, we will attract success; if we think of problems, we attract problems; if we think of failure, we attract failure. So let us learn to control our thoughts.” I invite you to read my memoir and be inspired. God bless you.