Anyone who has ever been pulled over for a traffic violation knows the feeling: There you sit, with those blinding blue and red flashing lights announcing to passersby that you are getting a ticket. You begin to squirm in the driver’s seat as you rifle through your wallet or glove box for an up-to-date insurance card and license. Just as you feel yourself slipping into a full-fledged panic attack, something unexpected happens — the officer lets you off with a warning.
This is grace and a whole lot of mercy in its most practical form. When it comes to applying grace in regards to the Christian faith, the dictionary describes “grace” as:
“The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
In this dictionary definition, it’s clear that there are a couple of specific ways grace works for Christians:
- It’s free, which means it costs us nothing.
- It is unmerited, which means we neither deserve it nor earn it by our actions.
This kind of news is better than receiving mercy for running a red light, going too fast in a school zone, or for any other countless mistakes for which you know you deserve to pay the consequences. This unmerited grace comes with a package of great benefits. It is like finding the illusive pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and then enjoying the benefits throughout your entire lifetime.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of grace is that it brings about spiritual salvation. Because of grace, we will live forever in the presence of God. It is not some magical genie in a bottle released for you to squander wishes on, though grace does also bestow additional blessings that we get to enjoy during our lifetime on earth as well. These blessings all point back to Christ for his glory, alone.
For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men. —Titus 2:11
Here’s 10 ways Christians benefit from grace:
1. Our ability to forgive others is only possible because of grace. We forgive others as we have been forgiven. It’s Christ’s example of grace that shows us how to treat others. Why should we forgive others? Because it frees us up to enjoy happiness and peace.
2. Much like the therapeutic effects of forgiveness, grace paints a similar picture and makes for a more peaceful existence. When we love others and treat them the way we want to be treated, there is no room to harbor a grudge or other exhausting negative emotions. The end result is peace.
3. Grace brings about hope. In grace, we have the hope of everlasting life. We also have the confidence that God has plans for us that include a hope and a future..
4. Healing is possible through grace and was obtained through Christ’s willingness to take on a punishment that was meant for us.
5. Comfort for every sorrow comes from grace.
6. Grace allows and helps us to have love for those who are otherwise unlovable as we begin to look at circumstances and hurtful actions of others through the eyes of love.
7. Grace gives courage for the discouraged.
8. Grace makes our burdens light because Jesus took on all of our heaviness.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. —II Corinthians 12:8-9
9. Grace makes painful sufferings endurable or even joyful.
10. Another form of the word, “Grace” is often used when we give thanks for a meal. Grace causes thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. —II Corinthians 4:15
Let’s Talk about It Together
What are your thoughts about the benefits of grace for a believer? How has the grace of Christ been at work in your life to offer all the benefits of peace, joy, lifted burdens, or an otherwise enriched lifestyle?