If you are a Christian and your everyday living experience could not be characterized by this one word, “blessed,” you may be wondering what is wrong. When I say, “blessed”, I am not emphasizing mere physical/material blessings and abundance. I am talking about all spiritual blessings. I am talking about fruitfulness, confidence, peace, liberty, joy, and compassion. I mean, as you look at your present life experience you would say:
Instead of fruitfulness, I have more frustration.
Instead of confidence, I have condemnation.
Instead of blessing, seems like the curse.
Instead of rest and peace, it is anxiety and stress.
Instead of liberty, feels like bondage.
Instead of a heart of compassion and forgiveness, really, I am judgmental and critical.
It could be that you have failed the grace of God which means to come after or too late, to be wanting, or to be behind (fall back from, fall short, fall behind, or come behind it). It means you fail in some measure to attain or fall back from something, which would imply a previous attainment. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, thereby many be defiled.”
Can we really fail of the grace of God? According to Scripture we can. What makes a person fail the grace of God? Sin makes you fail the grace of God. Hebrews 12:15 specifies a particular sin, bitterness, but any sin would do the same. God’s grace does not fail you, you fail it. Sin makes you fall behind, come behind, fall short of the grace of God. When you fail the grace of God you cannot experience joy, peace, love, compassion, and confidence because you are out of fellowship with Jesus.
Do not lose heart, though, because there is the grace that sanctifies from a loving Heavenly Father. The grace in salvation takes you out of sin. The grace in sanctification takes sin out of you and, guaranteed, God’s love for you will work to take sin out of you. It may take His correction, but do not resist it, fight it, or get bitter—just take it patiently. Whether He speaks to you by instruction or correction, just thank Him because He is still speaking to you and you’re still hearing His voice!
When God deals with you this way it will seem like the effect of His Word to you creates pain and grievousness because it is the chastening of the Lord. If you will hang in there, it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. When God chastens you it is also for your profit. Profit is gain, not loss. God’s correction is never a punishment, rejection, or loss (Hebrews 12:4-11). Do not faint, give up, drop out, get mad, or as the Bible warns, get bitter. This kind of pain is not your enemy. It just lets you know an enemy exists. Do not view it as an attack; view it as an alarm that something needs to be addressed.
It is just conviction you feel and conviction makes you feel your need. Do not resist the conviction or deny that you’ve sinned. Stubborn pride comes when a person sins but will not admit it. Pride is the greatest resister of grace. James 4:6 says, “Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” When you sin, bring it into the light and acknowledge it, admit it, or confess it. This allows you to receive the grace of His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). If we didn’t have to confess, acknowledge, or admit our sins, the chastening of the Lord would never need to exist.