Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Certain situations just make us cry out for God’s grace.

Woman: For 18 years I lived in deception and was one person on the outside and somebody totally different on the inside. Then last August when I went off to college, the life of deception I had been living on the inside came apparent on the outside and I made many very wrong choices.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, October 11.

Sometimes the most challenging events have a bright spot because they remind us how much we need grace. Some Revive Our Hearts listeners have been discovering this. A group of women have been listening to Nancy’s teaching on grace this week along with us and we’re going to find out what God’s grace looks like for them in the difficult real world.

We’ll hear from Nancy in a minute. But first, a situation requiring a lot of grace.

Woman: This is a terrible story I’m going to tell, but I married this man that I did not love at the time. I prayed on my wedding day that the church roof would fall in or something—different reasons, I just did it.

I didn’t have any counsel. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve never been happy. I’ve never loved him. I respect him in some ways. He’s a great worker, but it’s like we are at two opposite sides of the railroad track? We have different morals, different values.

We had two girls, and it’s caused conflicts all of our married life. I think that God has used this because I think I’ve been humbled. But I realize that by not respecting him enough that I just want to confess that I just haven’t maybe respected him as much as I should and been the wife I should have been so that my daughters would have the right relationship with their husbands. I feel like I’ve done a great injustice to my daughters.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I so appreciate your being honest and being humble to share that story, which in some respects is not a lot different than a lot of women in this room. The difference being that you were honest enough to admit that you have not reverenced your husband in the way that God wanted you to.

But that’s true of most wives. In fact, I don’t know a wife who wouldn’t say, “There are times when I have not really respected or reverenced my husband as God wanted me to.” You shared something that is very common to women. I’m so glad you did because it’s a perfect illustration of what God’s grace can do.

God’s grace first of all can help you see your own need in the situation, that’s it’s not just your husband, but you’re taking personal responsibility for your part in that marriage. In saying that, you’re running to Mount Calvary. You’re running to the place of humility.

And here’s the good news: God gives grace to the humble. Listen, God won’t command you to do anything that He will not give you grace to do if you cry out and ask for it.

I want to go a step further and say that God has grace not only to help you respect and reverence your husband in obedience to the Lord, but God can give you grace to love a man you do not love and have never loved.

You know how I know that? Because the Scripture commands wives to love their husbands, Titus chapter 2. And if God commands you to learn to love your husband, that means by His grace you can learn to love your husband—sacrificing, selfless, serving, Christ-like, agape love.

God has grace, if you’ll cry out for it, that will give you the desire and the power to love a man that maybe at this moment you can’t even stand. You say, “That’s impossible!” That’s what grace is for. Impossible circumstances and situations; that’s what God’s grace is for.

Cry out for it. Believe God for it.

Someone else?

Woman 2: The grace that I know I need is to raise the children that God has given me. Intellectually, I know what a Christ-like life looks like. And I even am extremely blessed in having people close to me, right around me. My mother lives right next to me and she is probably the most godly person I know, which is just an incredible blessing.

But then I turn around and I look at the five people that I’m responsible for raising, and I look in the mirror and think, “What were you doing?” But I know that He is faithful, and I know that He’s wise and He is all-sufficient. I’ve seen it because I’ve seen the character of Christ come through in my children at times when I’m just shocked.

I just think, “That was God-given because I wasn’t acting like that this morning even.” So I just want to praise Him and thank Him for His faithfulness in giving me the grace to raise the kids that He’s given me.

Nancy: Let me say, by the way moms, no matter how good or bad a mom you may be, you cannot take credit if your kids turn out well. It will be the grace of God. You can do everything right . . . I mean you can’t and you won’t! But even if you could, it would still take God’s grace in their lives to make it click.

So that’s why not only are you dependent on God’s grace, but you better be praying that God will pour out His grace in your children’s lives, in your husband’s life, that they will humble themselves and receive God’s grace for them as well.

Woman 3: This has been really good to hear about grace today. I have a sister who’s been living in a lesbian relationship for seven years. And I haven’t responded in grace. We both grew up in a solid Christian home. We were both in church nine months before we were born. But we weren’t taught that we need to continually repent. I’ve just seen her turn her back on the Lord and continue to go down toward a horrible path.

It was just a good reminder to me that I need to humble myself. She’s cut herself off from the family because of how we’ve responded. We thought we were doing it in love. Thankfully we have contact a little with her still. I just am praying for His grace to on what to do next.

Nancy: There are some parents listening who have a child in a homosexual relationship; your heart is broken. You need wisdom to know how to love that child, how to minister the truth in love. You need God’s grace. Any parent needs God’s grace, but if you have a child who is breaking your heart, you need God’s grace so that you can become a channel of God’s grace to that child so that the child can see the grace of God flowing through you.

Woman 4: I grew up in a very godly home. For 18 years I lived in deception and was one person on the outside and somebody totally different on the inside. I even deceived myself into thinking I was just a Christian who had problems.

Then last August when I went off to college, the life of deception I had been living on the inside became apparent on the outside. I began to live it out and made many very wrong choices.

But God showed grace. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time—I knew I was living in sin—but even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I wasn’t saved. But He showed grace to continually reach out to me. And I knew that even in the midst of all of it how much He loved me.

Then in February God showed grace by saving me and bringing me to the end of myself. He showed grace by three days before I got saved I was contemplating suicide. If I had done that I really believe I would have gone to hell. And He showed me grace in allowing that to fall through and did an awesome work by saving me.

Then He gave me grace as I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do by telling my parents the life I’ve lived, telling my church and coming back home from college and now living at home to establish a foundation and placing myself back under authority.

Nancy: More than you can know, that’s a story of a mom and a daughter and of incredible, incredible grace. If you ever think that God’s grace is not enough for your situation, for your circumstance, let me just say you just heard that God’s grace will take you and reach you and find you in places you never dreamed you’d be and not just give you back what you had before.

But the Scripture says that God can restore the years that the locust have eaten. God’s a redeeming God. He’s a gracious God. He is a God who is making all things new by His grace.

Sometimes you get through the big battles; you find God’s grace. I’m thinking of a passage in the Old Testament where an Old Testament king cried out to God in a battle and God came and saved him and helped him and delivered the people. It was a huge enemy.

Then they had a little battle that came afterward, and they tried it on their own. “I can handle this.” Flat on their face. You can’t handle it on your own. And sometimes you get through the big battle and then you get to the little one the next day, and you think, “This is a snap after what I’ve been through.” Don’t try and do it on your own. Don’t try and do it without God’s grace.

You cannot make it through one day or circumstance or season of life without God’s grace. And if you ever think you can, God will love you enough to create circumstances in your life to make you realize how much you need Him so that He can keep you coming to Him and keep you crying out to Him for grace.

Woman 5: I’ve had a life of grace, and I recognize it. I kind of thought sometimes I was doing things on my own and didn’t know God even cared enough about me to give me grace. I knew the Scripture that His grace was sufficient, but still so often I went about doing things on my own and only consulting Him when I was desperate.

He had allowed desperation to come into my life so many times. I’m fifty-nine and a half years old, and I’m a mother of two adult sons and a grandmother of three. I find that now at my age, now going on 60, that I have a five-year-old grandson that I’m more than average responsible for his rearing. And it’s just circumstances that God’s allowed for this little boy to be in my life.

But God’s grace helps me to deny Satan’s words of, “You pretty well flunked out on your own two sons, and you may not do very well with this little man.” And he is a darling little boy, as every grandmother thinks their grandchildren are. He is just too smart for me. He is full of little trickeries and everything.

And I cry out for wisdom every day that I can help mold him and that I can be a part of channeling this brightness in him to serve God and to honor Him and glorify Him.

But I am desperate daily for His grace. I’m desperate to be a part of this little boy’s life that I can help mold him to be God’s man and to be a godly husband when there’s rough roads. In a lot of ways I don’t have many rocks, but I know the rocks and stumbling blocks that are in my way keep me looking up to God.

I can’t even imagine a day so smooth that I don’t cry up, “God, help me with these thoughts," even the thoughts. It’s not just the occurrences. I have a battle with the thoughts. So I can claim Scripture, and His grace then wipes those thoughts right out, and I can go on smiling and loving and serving Him.

Nancy: I’m so glad that my precious friend, Holly Elliff, is here with us today. I’ve watched Holly. I’ve known her over many years. I think when I first met her she had four children. She now has eight. I have seen Holly appropriate God’s grace in many different circumstances and situations over many years.

She’s a woman who has a life message in crying out for God’s grace. We talk about God’s grace a lot. I’ve been in life situations that I didn’t think I could survive and had Holly come and minister God’s grace to me.

And when she’s talking with women—women come to Holly for counsel; they seek her out because she really loves the Lord and has a lot of wisdom—invariably (she may say it in different ways) she’s always pointing people back to God’s grace.

So I want to ask Holly if she just has any thoughts in relation to what we’ve shared today about the grace of God that would be helpful to close our time together.

Holly Elliff: Whether you are 80 or 8, God has all the available grace that you need at the moment that you need it. And God knows how I will need His grace this week. Scripture says it is God’s grace in which we stand.

I think one of the most dangerous things we do is get ahead of God’s grace in our life and then all of a sudden we’re way out there, and we realize, “I have absolutely no ability to meet this moment in my life.

And so many, many times I think we just need to back up and realize I have God’s grace. I like to think of it as a miner’s cap that just sheds light right here. So if I am standing in this moment of my life, I have grace for this moment of my life. And tomorrow morning when I get up I’ll have grace for that moment.

If I get too far ahead of that, if I live too far in the future and speculate why I’m going to need God’s grace, then I will live in fear. And that’s one of Satan’s tools to keep us apart from God’s grace.

But if I will back up and realize, “God at that moment in the circumstances of my life, You have promised to give me everything I need for life and for godliness. So I’m going to live right here standing in the grace that You have promised to give me for this moment.

Nancy: Let me just close with one verse here that maybe wraps up all that we’ve said in this week about grace. First Peter 5:10: “After you have suffered a little while . . .” Now you may feel like you’re suffering a long while, and from a human standpoint it may be a long while. But if you could step back and see it from the standpoint of eternity, it is a little while.

“After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace . . .” the God of all grace. That’s our God. “Who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ . . .” He’s got an end in mind. He’s got a purpose in mind for your life. It’s that your life will glorify Him, that you will be eternally glorified in Christ.

What will God do after you’ve suffered, this God of all grace? He “will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” That’s a wonderful promise. And God is using those circumstances. He’s using this season of your life.

We’ve shared several different seasons and types of illustrations representative of marriage and children. In each season of life, God is using the struggles, the pressures, the problems in your life for a purpose.

His purpose is that if you will receive His grace, humble yourself, cry out for it, God will restore you. He will confirm you. He will strengthen and establish you.

Now if you resist God’s grace, you won’t get all those benefits. God has all the grace there. He has it available. But if you try it on your own—“Lord I can manage. I can do this. I can live this day without You.”

Now you wouldn’t say it that way. But if you don’t cry to Him for grace, if you say His grace isn’t enough—“I just can’t make it; God’s grace isn’t enough for me.” If you live that way, you know what Hebrews 12 says? If you resist the grace of God, a root of bitterness will spring up in your life and ultimately it will trouble you and many will be defiled. (See Hebrews 12:15.)

Where does bitterness come from? All those bitter, unforgiving problems and relationships? It comes from people who have not received the grace of God, the grace that God had available. He had his ambulance in heaven ready there to send it out, but they didn’t cry out. They tried it on their own.

So you can end up a bitter, shriveled up, cantankerous, isolated, separated, lonely old lady someday because you’ve spent a lifetime resisting God’s grace. Or you can end up a beautiful, fragrant, radiant, whole, complete, joyful woman who’s been restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established by the grace of God.

It won’t happen without suffering. That’s part of the package. But God uses the suffering to press us to His heart, to press us to call out to Him in that marriage, in this season of your life, in this pressure, in this problem. You call out to Him, and the God of all grace will come racing to the scene of your need, will pour out His grace on the humble.

Let’s thank God for that incredible grace. Why don’t you join the hand of whoever is sitting next to you.

Oh, Lord, we love You. And You have promised that if we will seek You, we will find You. We’ve set our hearts to seek You, and, Lord, You have manifested Yourself to us. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for Your incredible grace. Thank You that although You’ve shown us our pride and our stubbornness and our willfulness and our failure and our need, You haven’t left us there, but You’ve made a provision for us through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, we love You. We love Your grace more today than we did yesterday. We’ve seen it in a whole new light. And thank You that as we go from this place there is grace for whatever we will face in that moment. Thank You that we stand in grace, the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And so we say thank You, thank You, thank You.

Leslie: Life can be so difficult and grace is so greatly needed. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been interacting with women who have so many needs just like you and I do. We all need God’s grace.

Today’s program of honest sharing and encouragement is an example of what you could experience by putting together a small group studying Seeking Him. Seeking Him is the name of the radio series we’re in right now. Twelve weeks of studying the marks of genuine revival.

This week we’ve looked at our need for grace. There’s a corresponding chapter in the workbook Nancy wrote with Tim Grissom and the staff of Life Action Ministries. This workbook is also called Seeking Him, and it will transform your thinking in important areas of your life.

The Seeking Him study would be perfect for your small group. You can order Nancy teaching the material on DVD and find workbooks for everyone in your group when you visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call 1-800-569-5959.

That’s also the number to call to get a copy of the 2008 Revive Our Hearts wall calendar. Some of our listeners have allowed Revive Our Hearts to beautify their walls for years, and they look forward to finding out what the new theme is each year. Well, this year it’s prayers from the heart. Each month includes a prayer written by Nancy along with the kind of beautiful artwork and layout you’ve come to expect.

The “Prayers from the Heart” calendar is yours when you make a donation to Revive Our Hearts. Ask for it when you call 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Maybe you understand the depth of emotion expressed today. You can relate to the problems described. Nancy has a lot of material that will help you through life’s darkest moments. You can find it by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com and clicking on “Topics.” Then click on “Suffering.” You’ll find articles and resources that will help.

When you have a question about any subject, visit the new and improved topics page at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Divine beauty, righteousness, kinship given to those who are guilty of true evil. That’s how one of tomorrow’s guests describes grace. Hear from wise godly men tomorrow as they pray for God’s grace. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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