To encourage people to "use" God's grace may seem a bit alarming. So what do I mean by "using God's grace"? I mean, use the grace of God to build your life upon and to turn your life around.
In reality, God's grace is our strength for living from day-to-day. In many circumstances in life we literally stand by his grace. When our lives are filled with sorrow and pain, either through our own mistakes or circumstances beyond our control, God's grace has the power to get us through. In fact, God's grace has the power to use our sorrow and pain for his glory and for our good. "...we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3, NIV).
Your sufferings, whatever their cause may be, can be used to strengthen you. The Bible says they give you 3 things: perseverance, character, and hope.
- Perseverance teaches you, "I can overcome anything--even my own sinful mistakes--through the power of God's grace."
- Character teaches you, "And through his grace, I can become the kind of person who doesn't make such foolish mistakes."
- Hope teaches you, "Because, through his grace, he's making me into a new person; he's making me like Christ."
Chuck Colson understands the transforming power of God's grace. Back in the early 1970's he had made a mess of his life through his involvement with President Nixon and the Watergate scandal--a mess that landed Colson in prison. God used that mess not only to turn his life around, but to give him a platform for ministry that continues to this day. While in prison Colson converted to Christ and vowed that he would not forget his fellow inmates. As a result he founded Prison Fellowship, a world wide minstry to those who are incarcerated. Today Colson is a respected Christian leader with a world-wide impact for God's Kingdom.
So, use God's grace in your life. He can take the mistakes you have made and turn them into something amazing.