Ezra 9:8 “And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”
It is a question put to God many times of those who cannot reconcile why they had to suffer, why they lost a loved one, or why God, in His sovereignty, didn’t stop the abuse.
It is also one of the questions that often go unanswered by God.
Faith demands that we trust. The more we know the character of God, the more faith can grow. The more we grow our faith, the more confidence we have when things go sideways.
When we do not know the character, love, and promises of God, our enemy will assault our minds to doubt, fear, and shrink from going forward.
When we sin, conviction comes. Guilt and shame may have pricked our hearts. Staying in that bondage undecided leaves us in a place that God may show longsuffering until we confess and repent.
The time between the sin and the repentance or correction to bring about the repentance is what we call a “space of grace.” No one but God can quantify that timeframe. We have a principle in our RU Recovery addiction program that states:
“We lose our freedom to choose when we give in to temptation. The consequences of our sin are inevitable, incalculable, and up to God.”
God’s love displayed on the cross of Calvary should motivate us to embrace the forgiveness offered immediately. But, the deceitfulness of sin blinds us from seeing the need and numbs us to the conviction, shame, and guilt the longer we put it off.
The ‘space of grace,’ or longsuffering of God, should not be abused or mistaken for His approval of our behavior. If God’s hand of correction hasn’t come, you must utilize the Word of God to make your decision.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If God is for a thing, we must be for it. If God is against it, we must be as well. We can find a group of people who may agree with a specific viewpoint on a particular activity. But, if God calls it sin, our disagreement becomes disobedience.
Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
We must be thankful for the space of grace when it is extended to us. But let us not fail to come back to God in confession and repentance. It is then that the question “why” typically falls away when our fellowship with God is restored.
Take heed this week to the ‘space of grace’ granted you. God’s longsuffering is because He loves us. But so is His correction.
Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
If God did not care, He would leave us to our own devices. But the excellent care wherewith He loves us should confirm His love in our hearts.
This week, keep short accounts with God.
Do not mistake the space of grace given us for God’s approval of our behavior when His Word clearly states otherwise.
Enjoy the blessing and favor of forgiveness and repentance.