Unearned Blessings

Hoyt Byrum

On April 13 I said I would continue commenting on grace. More specifically, how we can see God’s grace in all circumstances if we search for it. I have defined grace as “unearned blessings.” How can you see the difficult times in life as “unearned blessings?”

Let’s start with the Westminster Confession. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith written in 1646. The Confession asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer? “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” John Piper, in his book “Desiring God” says they got it wrong. Piper says the chief end of man is “to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever.” God is most glorified in us when we find our joy in God.

In no way am I in the same company as John Piper or in the same company with the brilliant theologians who penned the Westminster Confession. But let me give you my spin on what the “chief end of man” is from my perspective.

I believe that the primary purpose in life for those who are followers of Jesus Christ is to become like Jesus. To value what Jesus valued. To think like Jesus thought. To love the Father like Jesus loved His Father. To give ourselves to people, not to possessions, like Jesus did. Etc.

Jesus saw all things as being within the permissive will of his Father. He did not believe that his Father CAUSED all things but he did believe that his Father PERMITTED all things and if his Father permitted painful and difficult things to occur in his life, then his Father could redeem them and show him how these things could serve a divine purpose. Therefore, he embraced the struggles and used them for positive purposes. He DID NOT have an entitlement mentality (I deserve better, this isn’t fair, God has let me down).

Next post I will “let you in on some insights” into how this works for me. Grace, resulting in gratitude and spilling over into generosity is the only way to live.

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