When this man was so very down as a result of what he had been doing, and where he had been looking, he realised what he had to do if he was ever going to rise again. God pulled him back and pulled him up, and he is able to do that for any of us no matter where we are or how down we might be feeling.
The early fathers of the Church used to write about restraining grace. They understood all this. The grace of God kept people from falling and having a terrible and disastrous fall from which they might never recover. This man’s steps had almost gone. What saved him was the right hand of God. We read all of this in Psalm 73. Do take time to read it carefully and meditate upon it. There is blessing flowing from this Holy Word.
God gripped him and steadied him and held him. Now, he did not see things that way at the beginning, when he was going through the dark experience.
One thing that so helped restore this man was that he went into the sanctuary, into the presence of God, and there we see God’s restoring Grace.
Psalm writer, King David, knew this restoring grace, but he had to be faced with Nathan the prophet, and one of the outcomes was the writing of Psalm 51. Dark periods and challenging prophets can inspire us to season of amazing light.
After we come to God through Jesus we need to be restrained, and there are occasions when we need to be restored. Asaph knew all about these two conditions, but he does not even stop there. He realises that God is going to guide his future!
You cannot divide up grace into past, present, and future. The grace and love that has brought you to where you are today, and which has led you thus far, will still lead and guide and hold you to-morrow!
This what we can invest in the lives of others. The rewards and returns are astounding.
This is where strong, sensitive, understanding leaders, who know how to lead positively, are so needed in these present days.
We have this in some form in most of the letters to the Church, particularly in the letter to the Ephesians.
The God Who sent His Son to die for us on Calvary’s Cross will not and cannot leave us now, because that is just not in His character.
He did not spare His Son’s humiliation, His suffering, the spitting, the cruel crown of thorns with its mocking symbolism, and the agony of the nails, and the full blast of His wrath against sin. How shall He not with Him freely give us all things? The letter to the Romans teaches us these truths. Following the Cross, there is resurrection.
His Grace also sustains us, as He guides us with His counsel, and afterwards will take us into glory. His grace imparts the gifts of the Spirit, the graces of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit.
In one sense it is so similar to words we read in John’s letter as God makes you unlike the world and its inhabitants. There is laid up for us a crown of righteousness. All of this is much more than the forgiveness of sins. The Christian faith is rich in every aspect, and I am so glad that I was called by God at an early age and I rejoice that I have given my life to serve Jesus Christ and to read and study the Word of God.