We are told to trust and hope, but can’t this become a form just taking God’s Grace for granted? I’m having a hard time with this. I know that I have committed many sins; for that matter, it seems like I sin all the time. What I mean is, I’m certainly not “perfect as [my] Heavenly Father is perfect.” In fact, I don’t see much hope that I ever will be in this life. And since I’m not perfect like God, how can anyone get to heaven?
The apostles asked Jesus the same question “Then who can be saved?”…and Jesus relies “What is impossible to man is possible to God”. Remember too the good thief on Calvary. He had lived a truly sinful life and just before dying he asks Jesus to remember him when He enters His Kingdom. Jesus replies “This day you will be with me in Paradise”.
Remember too the parable of the Publican and The Sinner. The one God smiles upon and embraces, is the sinner down the rear of The Church who humbly strikes his breast “Lord have Mercy on me, for I am a sinner”.
Hope with trust and confidence in God is not taking Grace for granted, nor any sort of presumption on God. Often one can be very conscious of one’s sinfulness and failures with humility and sorrow before The Lord and always striving to do better, depending on God’s Grace and Help…and with Hope, trust and confidence in His promised Mercy. Anything else may well be a form of despair and a sin against the Holy Spirit.
If you read The Gospels you will come across almost endless instances, especially in the parables of Jesus, of God’s Mercy to all and any who humbly seek it. If it would be helpful to you, I can give you references and links to all the quotations above.
To discourage one is one of the favourite weapons of Satan and temptation. From discouragement can come despair.
God’s blessings and my regards…Barb:)
When my daughter was little, her father and I discussed how we felt about her taking our love for granted. My statement (and one I’d state now) was that we actually wanted her to take our love for granted. We wanted her to feel completely confident and at ease in our love for her (her actions had nothing to do with this and she was given firm expectations and consequences).
I read in Scripture and in the Saints writings that the same is desired of us - we’re His little children and He apparently wants us to be confident in His love (and to even take it for granted), as long as we remember His firm expectations.
Good post and insights! Jesus does have high and firm expectations of us and one of them is in His Mercy to all who would sincerely ask it of Him. He knows even better than we do that most of the time our nature is more inclined to what is not good than to what is good and that this presents for most of us our daily day in and day out struggle…He also knows that very often we fail. Hence part of His very firm expectations of us is to recognize and acknowledge all this and sincerely as His Mercy and Pardon and not to doubt ever that it is lacking. He really does desire that we live in constant Peace and Joy born of Peace…with praise and with thankfulness and with a sincerely repentant heart we trust confidently in His Mercy and accept it in all our circumstances, is indeed the praise and thankfulness of that Mercy…granting Peace and Joy in all things…To doubt it all, is to doubt The Lord…