Mercy and Grace for Each Moment

Originally published Wednesday, 21 August 2013.

I once taught my Sunday School class a lesson on worry by having them take turns walking around the classroom blindfolded. They had to listen to the sound of their friend's voices guiding them around obstacles I had scattered around on the floor. It was a fun activity but what I wanted them to see was that we live our life blind. We don't know what lies ahead, even what will happen in the next moment. Just as my students had to trust each other while they were blindfolded, we must trust God as he guides us into our unknown future.

This fact lies at the heart of my battles with worry. I often look ahead into tomorrow, the next month, the next year and worry about my circumstances in the future. When life is hard today, I'll worry about tomorrow and whether I will have the emotional strength for another day. If money is short, I'll look into next month and fear there won't be any left when the calendar turns a page. If my plans fail today, I'll worry they will never come to fruition.

The truth that I have to cling to is that God's grace is more than enough for each moment. He will sustain me through today and then tomorrow he will sustain me yet again. There is no limit, his well of grace never runs dry. Like the manna the Israelites were given in the wilderness, God gives us grace each day and then tomorrow, fresh grace will arrive to sustain us for another day.

"The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

John Piper talks about God's provision for each moment in A Godward Life, "Trusting Christ today includes trusting him to give you tomorrow's trust when tomorrow comes. Often we feel today like our reservoir of strength is not going to last for another day. The fact is, it won't. Today's resources are for today, and part of those resources is the confidence that new resources will be given tomorrow (p.25)."

Just as my students had to trust their friend to guide them around the classroom, I have to trust God for my future. In fact, trust is the opposite of worry. The reality is, we do not know what the future holds. We don't know what will happen even one minute from now. The circumstances of our life are outside our control. But we can rest comfortably in the fact that it is in God's control and he will give us just what we need each and every day. Whether it's our daily bread (Matthew 6:25-34), or strength during trials (1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Peter 4:14), God is always faithful to provide.

Jesus encouraged his followers with these words, "So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:31-34). Jesus is saying, "Trust me. I know what's ahead. I will lead you through whatever hurdles or obstacles are there. I will provide everything you need for your journey. I will strengthen you with my mercy and grace, both of which I have in abundant supply."

God has proven himself to be faithful. Paul wrote in Romans 8, "If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things" (vs. 31-32). Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate demonstration of God's faithfulness and grace toward us. If he has given and provided for our greatest need, salvation from sin, won't he also provide us what we need for each day?

When the day is long and we are tempted to think that we can't bare another day, may we remember God's faithfulness for us through Jesus Christ. Rather than worry about tomorrow, may we instead trust him to rain down fresh mercy and grace each day. As we taste the sweetness of that grace, may we give thanks, knowing that it'll never go stale or run out. And may we greet each new sunrise with this old hymn in our heart: “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning  by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath  provided—Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"