In my working on an autobiographical article, I am reminded of how good God has been to me. Reliving my life events ranging from surviving near fatal car accidents to being forgiven for sinful mistakes, I have experienced much grace from God.
As John Newton put it in Amazing Grace: “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; tis grace hath brought me safe thus far; and grace will lead me home.”
Grace, as properly defined in Strong’s Concordance (#5485), is “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” God’s divine influence continues to tender my heart toward Him. Through that tendering has come suffering, hardship and tears, yet His grace strongly abounds through earthly grief and pain.
As His grace abounds, some of my rough edges are gradually chiseled away in the process. His divine influence accomplishes much. His grace, especially through suffering, calls and compels me to heart purity. That grace-filled heart, probably never achieved without hardship, more closely resembles the Author and Perfecter of my faith.
Without some earthly pain, there can truly be no spiritual gain.