{Chapter 10} Amazed by Grace

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“I used to feel so far from God, like I had to work my way back to Him after periods of inconsistency in my time with Him, seasons of unbelief or self-sufficiency, or other sins. I was also convinced God had lost His patience with me.Then I’d try harder and eventually fail again.

Finally, I’d get defeated and wonder, “What’s the use in trying?”

But now I know it’s not about trying harder. It’s about turning sooner. It’s about confessing sin and turning back to God’s gift of grace.

Grace is God’s “undeserved favor.” We don’t have to earn it, and we cannot lose it when we act undeserving. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Yes, grace cost a lot, but Jesus already paid for it. Because you see… it is “by grace [we] have been saved, through faith—and this not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). And God’s grace not only saved us from eternal hell, it saves us from the hell we put ourselves through daily with guilt, shame, self-loathing and condemnation.

Some people ask if grace is a license to sin. A confident woman knows that it’s not. Instead, she realizes grace is the security of knowing God’s love is guaranteed for her because she trusts in Christ. Really understanding His sacrificial gift accomplishes the opposite of granting a license to sin. When we grasp what Jesus did for us, we want to return the gift of His life by offering ours to Him, even if our offering isn’t perfect or even perfectly consistent.” ~ From Chapter 10

Our word for the week is GRACE
Download and print our word for the week in a PDF or in MSWord.

Our verse for us this week: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourself; it is the gift of God -” (Eph. 2:8)

Our prayer for us this week: Lord, thank You that I can approach Your throne of grace with confidence and receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. Because of Your mercy and forgiveness, my guilt-induced doubt is replaced by grace-induced confidence. Help me trust You with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding, acknowledging You in all my ways so You can make my path straight. Those who know Your name trust You, Lord, because You have never deserted those who seek Your help. In Jesus’ Name, amen. {See Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 3:5–6; Psalm 9:10.}

Let’s Chat: What is one area of your life where you need to receive more of God’s grace and give yourself more grace too?

Please click “share your thoughts” just below this post and do just that. {If you are reading this via email please click here to return to my website to connect with us!}

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I need to give myself more GRACE in all areas of my life. Perfection is not to be achieved by me, but it has been achieved by Christ on my behalf. What a precious thought!

  2. I realize that I need God’s Grace when I start to judge myself and others. When I make a mistake, I feel so guilty and hopeless and I start wondering what is wrong with me and how come I am not like so and so who never seem to make any messes of anything in their perfect little lives. After reading this chapter I feel so much better and I am going to try and stop it and just rely on God’s Grace.

    • i can relate, I beat myself up pretty bad too but I am learning more and more about his grace and how much he loves me….

    • Michelle says:

      I so relate to your comment. I am constantly judging others which leads to the whole comparison game and then I get down on myself. I just read something (forgive me if I forgot it was from Renee’s book but I have a couple other devotions I try to read online) it said we judge others outsides against our inside. It is so true. Everyone always looks so perfect and like they have it all together but we can’t see what is going on in their hearts and minds and what mistakes they have made in the last 24 hours. The bible says man judges from outside appearances but The Lord looks at our hearts. Praise Him for that. He knows why we are the way we are and why we do what we do better than we do ourselves.
      Ironically I started my devotion this morning and my bible flipped open to the verse that says do not judge others. Again I was convicted by this verse and instead of feeling condemned by this verse like i have been so many times before I read chapter 10 of a Confident Heart and I am yes convicted but know that Gods grace is sufficient for me and I am finally after almost 40 years starting to believe that for myself.
      Thank you Irene for sharing and thank you Renee for this amazing book and online study. It is so nice to be able to relate with so many other women and know that I am not alone in my battles and struggles.
      Blessings,
      Michelle

  3. GRACE what a perfect word for me to remember. I forget that it was by the Grace of God that we were saved and how much he sacrificed for all of us. When I read the chapter I was reminded of how much I don’t listen to God because I think I can do things on my own. My therapist and I always pray before each session and if I dont’ turn things over to God she will remind that God gave his life for me and I not to doubt his word. As Gideon ask where were you Lord when things were happening to us. I too often ask where were you Lord when the ritual abuse was happening to me. Although I never felt like he was with me he was by my side the entire time helping to cope by allowing parts of me to split off and take on the feelings of the abuse as it was happening. It took me along time to accept this and sometimes that doubt will sneak in and I have to remind myself that I truly was not alone in those times of darkeness. Thank you Renee for writing such a wonderful chapter to remind me of Gods’ Grace.
    Robin

  4. Parenting! lol 🙂

  5. Kristie says:

    Myself………..enough said

  6. Gods Grace I believe I receive it daily in spite of my actions at times but I am learning to accept His Love for me. Lordknows how much I second guess and have doubt in my thoughts and my thinking. Renee I hope yourMom is getting much better. Thank you for todays word Grace I haven’t been able to spend much time with The Lord and I miss Him so much. My step son graduated from Pharmacy school so I was caught up with him myself and other family members. I am thankful that you have confirmed it of Gods Grace and love for us it was a deep Huge Price He paid for us all. THANK YOU JESUS. Well I am going to be heading back today mmy joirney back home and I would still like prayer please if possible for Safe trip and for me to pay attention to signs and follow directions- for confidence in myself please. God bless you all.

  7. Christina says:

    It’s either funny, coincidental, a blessing, or a much needed slap in the face that, Chapter 10 started today. I really have felt GODS PRESENCE the last three days. Renee, The last part of chapter 10 I know was written for me and I was supposed to read it exactly when I was supposed to. You see I was diagnosed with a small abnormality on the right side of my brain several years ago. My doctors have treated the abnormality with observation. I have gone every year for a cat scan just to make sure there is no growth etc. Well, this past year I have been struggling with headaches, forgetfulness, blurry vision to the point where I can not see to read. So, I made the dreaded app. The results were there was some growth but they felt it was benign and treatment path was going to be a steroid and observation. So I am to return to the doctor June 5 to check on things etc. Well, I have always been afraid of DYING. I am a total whimp in this area of my life. I feel like I have a strong walk with The Lord, I used to feel like I had tremendous FAITH ! However, the changes I had been experiencing had me really questioning GOD and where he was. this weekend I attended the women’s conference at my church. It was Friday night and all day Sat. Until 3:00. The conference was about trusting GOD and building on the trust. Snce this appointment with my doctor has been drawing closer I have had a real genuine FEAR of DYING. Anyway, I left racing to pick up kids and drop them off to their various destinations. When this voice said you need to go back to the church services at 5:30. Well, I was trying to ignore the thought or whatever it was. However, the voice got louder and I found myself talking out saying listen I was at church all weekend the last thing I want is to go to church tonight . I am going in the morning isn’t that good enough. Well, the voice said, My child you have unfinished business at the church. RETURN….So I turned around and went to church. Believe me I was not happy and it was after a lot of yelling back at the voice expressing my discontent. Services were about miracles and healing. Our pastor started talking about overcoming obstacles. He talked about the blind man, etc. then he said to believe in miracles you have to clear obstacles, place your self into growing mode, and be growing in your relationship with him. Cming towards the end of the service. He said he felt GOD speaking to him about those in church tonight who were having issues with their eyes, headaches, or anything going on with the brain. Pastor Doug asked us to stand and come down to the front of the church for healing. Well this was WAY out of my comfort zone so I sat back down. Then Pastor Doug said you know GOD has told me There are those who do not feel comfortable coming to the front so just return to your seats and stand. WE WILL COME TO YOU ! So I stood back up and three people came over to pray with me. After, prayer the couple that was praying with me said, “you have a brain issue don’t you ?” My whole body was shaking. I said yes. The couple said they sensed some fear and I explained that I had an appointment coming up in June and that some of my symptoms had returned with a furry. They wanted me to know they were going to continue to pray and they felt the LORD was actively working to make me a warrior in the situation. I returned to church Snday morning and you are not going to believe this, but service topic was completly different even the music was different. SO, I Heard GOD himself speaking to me. I feel that this was his way of telling me not to FEAR that I am going to be FINE!! Renee, thanks do much for your book. Through your book GOD is teaching me everyday. he has been showing me what is and has been going on in my heart. He is teaching me through past abuse and my present experiences, how to use than to comfort others. GOD is drawing me closer to him everyday asking me to seek him more clearly. I truly think he is preparing me to understand his purpose for me in my life. GOD IS CHANGING MY HARD HEART !!

    • Bernadette Burgess says:

      Christina, thank you so much for sharing your story. I will keep you in pray for complete healing. As I was praying and mediating this morning my thoughts were focus on my sister’s friend whose cancer has returned and she is in terrible pain. please also keep her in your prayers. All God’s blessing.

    • Christina,
      you are an encouragement to other ladies here..God will use your experience for his good!
      What an incredible feeling to hear God’s whisper and obey his commands..I know he will honor you with his Grace, Love and Peace.
      God Bless !

    • Christina, thank you so much for sharing… What a beautiful testimony. It brought me to tears 🙂 I know that God wanted me to read that this morning because I have been feeling so discouraged lately. I’ve been really beat up in my head by the enemy’s lies. I’ve been feeling so low, inadequate, dirty, unwanted, rejected and lonely. And now in the last few months I’ve been struggling with my memory, forgetting what I’m supposed to do, where I’m supposed to go and all kinds of details just seem to leave my mind so now on top of my already existing insecurities, I feel really crazy, embarrassed and scared every time I find myself in a situation where my forgetfulness completely overtakes me. I am only 40 but I feel like a 90 year old with Alzheimer’s sometimes 🙁 I have also had sever dizziness and migraines like never before. I too have lived with abuse for pretty much my entire life from my father as a child and now in an emotionally abusive marriage for 20 years. I often wonder if the stress from the abuse has caused some damage to my brain. Lately I’ve been feeling like their is something medically wrong. I am not to the type to be a hypochondriac but I’m really scared that I might have some sort of brain abnormality becuse my memory is getting worse and worse. As you can imagine my self doubt and insecurity is full force especially when I embarrass myself by forgetting something that most “normal” people would remember. I feel so humiliated when I fail others or create problems for others because I simply “forgot” what I’m supposed to do. I am sure these people are now convinced I’m a looney by now. I try to make light of it and even laugh about it to act like its no big deal. But truly I am scared and now the enemy has been bombarding me with fear that something truly is wrong with my brain. I haven’t talked to my doctor about this because I’m afraid he will just brush it off as stress but on the other hand I’m terrified that he might want me to have tests done and it will show a brain abnormality. I’ve been just torturing myself with these thoughts and fears and I know it’s just the enemy trying to bring me down. Your story spoke so deeply to my heart and reminded me that I have nothing to fear becuase God is in control. Whether there is something medically wrong with me or not. He is the Great Physician! He loves me just as I am and accepts me with forgetfulness and all and He will heal me of my broken heart and my broken memory. I thank you once again and I pray that The Lord will completely heal you and cause this growth to disappear. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

      • Nicole H says:

        Ahh Alma I know exactly where you’re coming from! You are not alone sister. My chronic (non stop for 11 years) obsessive, false guilt, replaying scenarios or my mess ups over and over until I have been unable to function with people has almost been the end of my sanity. Like you, my memory started to go, my mind still goes blank when I’m talking to people and I have believed the lie of ‘I have nothing to say.’ Yesterday I felt I messed up big time and as you said was completely DISCOURAGED. Because of my anxiety I often say dumb things when I feel put on the spot (which is all the time! Lol but not funny 🙂 so yesterday at a new church we’re going to this new friend told me about how she was nervous her husband was going to be deploying to Korea and all the nuclear stuff going on over there and I SAID ‘don’t worry, I’m sure if they get nuked we all will.’ Really?! That’s my response?! I fought so hard not giving up yesterday because I even prayed in the morning that God would help me with communication and not to be nervous and then this happens! But God is good, she texted me this morning to get our 2 year olds together, so she came over and I told her about my anxiety with people, how I was so mortified about yesterday and guess what, she struggles with anxiety too!! So we laughed and I could breathe. God, you’re so good even when we’re in the midst of hard Lord…like Alma said, you love and ACCEPT her just where she is with her having a hard time with her memory and the heartbreak these struggles can bring but these things are not WHO she is. She is your beloved, highly valued, precious and like I tell myself now even if I’m drooling & stuttering Lord YOU LOVE ME!! Help us take our mind off of what people think of us Lord. Help us to RECEIVE YOUR GRACE. Your yoke is easy and your burden light. We are the ones who put such heavy burdens on ourselves but that is not your mind for us Lord.

        Satan wants us to isolate and feel that we’re crazy & alone on things but I’m realizing we’re not and its really helping to heal the pain of insecurity.Thank you Renee for this beautiful book and bringing us all together! God is breathing life back into me <3

      • Sharon Macri says:

        I love it when God uses others to complete a work He has started in me. Through your obedience to God by taking this book study and being obedient to share what He is doing in your life He ministers to us (the body of Christ). Satan would have us live in defeat and not accept what God has for us. I will add you to my prayer journal.

    • Nicole H says:

      And I meant to include a thank you to Cristina for sharing her story!! Praying for strength & complete healing for you.

    • Janet F says:

      Praise the Lord Cristina, thanks for sharing your story. Thank you Jesus for healing her body. We claim in done in Jesus Name!!!

    • Thank You Cristina for sharing your story. I will keep you in prayer, asking for healing..

    • Michelle says:

      Amazing story. I will be praying for you. Keep us posted on you.
      Thank you for Sharing it.

    • Christina says:

      Renee I have been living everyday for the last three years in FEAR!!! I am doing your online bible study with your book. I have posted a couple of times about the abuse I endured as a child and the fact that I have been receiving mri’s and cat scans every three months watching this abnormality I have of the brain. it is a growth that has been maintaining one size and just recently has increased in size. So I am of course on lots of meds. Well a couple of weeks ago I received healing and prayer for this specific ailment. Today was my three month testing and the amount of time it was taking for the the tests seemed endless. I was told The doctor would call me around two with the results. So now was the endless wait of FEAR one more time. you know what, I was not anxious, stressed, and I had no anxiety at all. Was calm my time waiting on the phone call was Gods complete cover. The doctor called around 3:30 to tell me that there was NO evidence of an abnormality !!! Praise God it was totally his healing and wonderful promises that have restored my health. God is so faithful and loving.

  8. Charletta Rupert says:

    GRACE no other word for Grace, but AMAZING! He’s still working on me..

  9. Robin Puchala says:

    GRACE is not natural to us. We think, like you did, Renee, that we must clean ourselves up first or work it out on our own. But no, God shows us His way — to come to Him with all our struggles, heartaches & faults to be loved again, accepted again, redirected again. I too have this problem — In my very human thinking I want my heart to be “perfect” before anybody sees it, but a loving heavenly Father gently pulls me back with cords of grace bathing me in His love until I can accept His higher way for me. What a God, what a Saviour! I ache to see those I love around me have Him, have His grace to turn to.

  10. Bernadette Burgess says:

    I need God’s grace in in my life in regards to forgiveness. That area of my life is where I experience weakness, I need to be able to forgive myself for my past mistakes and to forgive others for disappointing me. My question is if I have forgiven, then how come I cannot not forget and move on?. I need some guidance with this. Help!!!!

    • Nita Ruming says:

      Dear Bernadette, How wonderful to read your present struggle with forgiveness. Recently, the Lord took me under His wings of Grace to actually show me where I was failing to forgive in my life. I get Voice of Victory from K.C.M., the message wasn’t in that, but it was in the words the Lord spoke to me as I opened it from the mailbox. He said, The prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. I felt Wow, He wants to get me to the healing rooms to heal me, so I went. After I was prayer for, I was asked if there was anyone I needed to forgive. I thought for a while and nothing came till The Holy Spirit fell on me and revealed where the hidden sin was. I cringed as it all became so real to me, I still felt bitterness towards a close family member, but thought I had forgiven him, but I knew I still criticised him, so the tears fell in a river as I realised how false I had been, I asked for my own forgiveness, then the blessings came. Since that day., He has opened up a whole new place where He wants me to serve Him, the same place where my close family member served as well. I Praise God for His direction and forgiveness, and for the Grace offered to me even in my sin.I now have a new love for my forgiven one as I have been able to let the hurt go, and move on as the Lord directs. I pray He will touch your heart in the same way, just be obedient to His Call. God Bless you as you serve Him, He loves you so much and Hid Grace is sufficient.

    • Britney says:

      I realized lately that I have been “protecting” myself with unforgiveness unknowingly. I prayed for God to help me forgive. I even felt better for a little while. Then something would happen to make me remember the offense again. Maybe it was even a new offense and I would hear “Well, you should have known better from past experience with this person.” Why do you keep putting yourself out there to be exposed again. So I would remind myself or even talk about what this person had done in the past and is doing now. I protected myself with unforgiveness, I put up a wall of saddness, anger, disappointment. I will tell you it did not feel good. Today, God showed me my protection of unforgivenss is actually opening my heart up to the devil, what I need is God’s armor. Eph 6:11-17.

  11. angela taylor says:

    Hi Bernadette I have the same problem about forgiving myself. I seem to be able to for give others and let it go be I still have a hard time believeing God can forgive me, and me forgiving me.I will oray for you about this with every prayer. In Christ Love

  12. This was a good reminder for me today. I am facing a health crisis with my husband who has Lewy Body Dementia. I am having so much trouble sleeping and facing this reality. I beg God daily for patience, strength, courage, insight…but it just doesn’t seem to come. There is much comfort in today’s reading. Thank you.

    • Hi Sue. I pray for you this morning. I can imagine what you must be experiencing. I am interested to know more about LBD, as my father in law is exhibiting symptoms that seem to fit that diagnosis (so far simply referred to as dementia w/o definite known origin. Tammlee54@gmail.com – if you feel comfortable in sharing. Thank you (& everyone else for sharing your hearts. I can relate with many of you. Blessings to you today.

  13. Grace with myself–especially with myself. And I also agree with Irene. I often feel like I blow it on several occassions, and I am sure that I do blow it. I sometimes feel like I can never move beyond where I am. It’s always two steps forward and three steps back. I believe I extend grace, but I don’t accept grace for myself.

  14. Renee, Thank you, for sharing your struggles!! It has helped me to see………I am normal!! I have been struggling with doubt, guilt, depression, and feeling that God had left me, due to my shortcomings and disappointments in life! I need grace in all of these areas and I know He is using you, and this book to get me back on the path!! Thank you, again, for your faithfullness and I pray that your Mom will continue to heal and be well once again! God Bless!!

  15. Ernestine Gutierrez says:

    Thank you for today’s reading. I can relate to Sue’s comment. My husband of 44 years was diagnose with stomach cancer a year ago. And I can truly say it’s thought the grace of God that I’ve been able to deal with what lies ahead(sometimes).But God is a big God. Yes trusting God with all our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding and acknowledging Him in all our ways can make our path straight. My confession everyday is ” Thank You Father for my husband is heal in Jesus name”.

  16. I NEED God’s grace in the choices that I make and help me make good strong choices.

  17. I need Grace to not judge myself! I love to help others and I often recognize when someone is going through something, but I almost never let others see when I am going through a hard time. I am one of the only single young women in my church my age, and I often wonder what I’m doing wrong and what I’m missing? I feel like I don’t have what it takes to be a wife like my friends do…and I need grace to find my identity in simply being a daughter of the King…not only looking for identity in being, (or not being) a wife or a mother.

  18. 2Corinthians 12:9 – “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Charis causes me to rejoice and celebrate knowing that Christ is in me and I am in Him and no matter what the trial, the tribulation or the challenge, I can overcome. He bore the Christ for us to L I V E (Living in Victory Everyday). He says that when we think we are weak, we are actually strong, Why, BECAUSE WE ARE HIS IMAGE, OVERCOMERS!!! The power of Jesus is in US, strong, Bold and it is time for us to claim our rightful place as His Heirs!!!!!!!

    • Thank you for your post. I am going to print this off because it is exactly what I needed to read today.

  19. I would like to have more Faith and not be such a Worry wort. I do Love the Lord, I find it hard sometimes,to
    do my Prayers I also fight the adversary with my Faith. I am working on all this to be a better Woman that God wants me to be.

    • Hi Joanne, I can relate! I have chosen this week to TRUST HIM, that is an area that has been very hard for me! I was abused as a child and I know that in order for me to embrace everything that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with, I need to trust!! May you be blessed and filled with hope, faith, peace and joy as you continue you in your journey with Him!! My name is Joanne, too! Have a blessed day!

      • Well, my name is Joanne, too, and I have been really struggling with faith and worry and doubt, etc. To the point of anxiety! I met with the pastor’s wife to talk about this struggle and she asked me what my name meant. I had no idea and it seemed trivial. She asked me to look it up on my phone and guess what! Our name means God is Gracious! The Lord told her to ask me this, and let me tell you, he was there with us. She explained that our point of giftedness usually is also a place where the enemy will attack. And grace is where I get nailed, yet He’s calling me to be an extension of His grace. How perfect is it for us to to be able to relate to others in their point of need when we’ve been through it ourselves? Now that’s hope 🙂

  20. Wow, this is just what I needed!!! For a couple of months now I have argued with God about why try? You know I am going to fail, I can’t do what you want me to do and achieve perfection. Three things in my life God wanted me to be more discipline in 1. Tithing 2.Being on time 3. Being Holy.. the first 2 I could do with no problem simple being obedient but the third on was a little harder. I would tell God why should I do this I am going to fail. Every day God would quietly remind me of what I need to do. He didn’t force me, or yell at me, or even remind me of his awesome power and that he could end me if he wanted to…LOL . He just quietly reminded me it needs to be taking care of.. I told him I am going to fail why do it.. He reminded me I was living in Grace. .. but that still didn’t get me off the hook of not having to do it.. I still needed to be obedient, his Grace caught me when I failed, but it was my choice to be holy, it was my choice to be obedient. He patiently waited for me to make the right choice and supplied the Grace I needed to get me to where I was going. I am no surprise to God he knew what he was getting, He knews the times I would fail and the time I wouldn’t, but as a loving father is always their to pick us up, brush us off and say now try it again..That is what Grace is it does what we can’t..

  21. My struggles are looking at my friends who have soooo much financially. You see I had financial comfort and stability. About 5 years ago my husband embezzled money to provide for his gambling addiction. He lost his job and we lost everything. My daughters who worked so hard really didn’t have many options for college be ause no money and I couldn’t co sign because of my credit. We are since divorced and I have a fabulous job and many blessings. But when I see my friends with the gift of finances I condemn myself. Why me Lord? I’m 58 years old starting over worrying about the future. My daughters won’t have the big wedding, all college monies are a struggle to borrow and living in an apartment waiting for my credit to clean up to buy a house. I want to hear The Lord more and understand Why? I also know that this is the Best thing and the Worst thing that happened to us. My girls know The Lord and are not involved in any drugs, alcohol and I could be telling another story, but God has kept his hand on them. I want to be inhuman and not let materialism and financial comfort shake my faith.
    Peace and comfort to my sister’s in Christ,
    Linda

  22. We need to listen to the whispers of faith rather than the shouts of fear, discontent, abandonment. Just quiet yourself and as I say to my grandmonsters, “Put your listening ears on”

  23. Fiordaliza mena says:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank Christina for sharing her powerful testimony, at first glance when I saw how long it was, I thought to myself “no way” I don’t have time to read that long comment, but them something said read it, then I started to read it and tears started to run down my cheeks, because I’ve been dealing with on-going illness, financial burden, feeling of unworthiness, condemnation for lack of zeal for God and inconsistency in my devotion with Jesus because of my ongoing spiritual attacks ive been feeling exhausted and hopeless!! I have felt far from God, but reading your long comment has brought me hope and comfort, it has cause me to rise and know that God cares for what concerns us!!! Along with all the other comments I feel new hopes, as if God knows what I’m going through and he is still here with me!!! Thank you som much to everyone and to Renee for this beautiful blog!!!!

  24. I need more grace in the area of marriage and employment for my spouse. I’m not at a good place in my patience I’m like at a point of no return! Please keep me in prayer.

  25. Courtney says:

    Honestly, I need grace in ALL areas of my life. The main places I struggle is with forgiving myself for past mistakes and not put unnecessary demands on myself and if I don’t achieve whatever ridiculous goal I’ve set not to beat myself up. At times I put unnecessary stress on myself. I want to be the perfect character with the hat I have to wear at that time. I want to be the best wife, the best daughter, the best whatever. The only thing others expect out of me is my best, nothing more. I get in my mind I have to be superwoman and take on the world. I sometimes forget Jesus already did that for us, and he’s the only perfect person in the world.

  26. I need God’s Grace in most areas of my life lately. I have worried about everything too much. Now I am learning to pray about everything. My mother’s passing has been very hard on me and my brother and father. My little dog, has been bleeding out of his nose and is due for surgery tomorrow morning. Granted he is 13 but he is my surrogate child. My work, I need to make sure I can earn enough to survive. Our bills, they are piling up too high. This is some of the areas I need help. As far as giving myself grace. I don’t know if I can. Renee, I am so glad my friend thur our Lord brought me to this study and your kind wise words. I am glad your mother is doing better as I truly understand that helpless feeling when there isn’t anything you can do.
    Prayers to all these women here too. God Bless!

  27. I literally had written an email telling a friend of mine I wish I was more “consistent” with my trust/faith/not doubting God. And low and behold I read the title of Renee’s next chapter – “When doubt whispers ‘I can’t follow God Consistently’ “.

    Talk about reasons NOT to doubt God….He knows exactly where we are, and what we need right where there. Would you expect your baby to run a marathon after all? You’d be just as happy when they reach their hands to you to ask for help to stand up as you are to watch them walk.

    So that said, even just seeing the title of Renee’s chapter 10, it reminded me that God doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Yes He shows His faithfulness every morning, yes, He provides beyond expectations. Its time I be like a child and enjoy the moment in Him rather than striving to earn GRACE, through testaments of my own unfaltering faith in Him. In my weakness, HE IS STRONG. And that is the only testament that needs to be made.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJODOpe_M8E

    Why are you striving these days
    Why are you trying to earn grace
    Why are you crying
    Let me lift up your face
    Just don’t turn away

    Why are you looking for love
    Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
    To where will you go child
    Tell me where will you run
    To where will you run

    And I’ll be by your side
    Wherever you fall
    In the dead of night
    Whenever you call
    And please don’t fight
    These hands that are holding you
    My hands are holding you

    Look at these hands and my side
    They swallowed the grave on that night
    When I drank the world’s sin
    So I could carry you in
    And give you life
    I want to give you life

    Cause I, I love you
    I want you to know
    That I, I love you
    I’ll never let you go

  28. I need to ask and give myself more GRACE in my own Self Talk. I make the slightest mistake and I turn it into a mortal sin. I can do nothing right and if I do do something right its not all that great.

  29. Tiffany says:

    I need GRACE desperately. I started reading chapter 10 last night. I am struggling with insecurities. I am getting so nervous about my upcoming exam because I failed in the past. The thing that struck me the most was “we all blow it, but God offers grace to cover our guilt.” Also, “instead of changing our circumstances, often God uses our circumstances to bring us closer to Him, make us more like Him, and help us find our confidence in Him.” I am only half way through the chapter but I did feel more at peace last night. I have so much fear and anxiety about this exam. It will give me more time with patients, more income so my son can go to the school he wants to go to, those two incredibly letters behind my name RN, and my dream will have finally come true. I guess it’s because it is fast approaching, my anxiety level is at an all time high. I hope to continue this chapter over the next few days.

    • He’s with you now and will be guiding you through every question on the exam!! Lean on Him completely, He loves it when you do!! Let your anxiety work for you and push you even closer to Him!! He will replace it with peace as you sit for your exam, He promises never to leave you – CLAIM IT!! I will be praying for you!!

      I know the anxiety too well as I sat for my own board exams. The last one in tears, as I mourned a great loss as well as studied for it. He will work all things for good…..even your weaknesses. It helps you focus when all you have strength to do is look to Him. He is already there, and has gone before you to make the crooked places straight.

      Just take one step at a time, He gives you grace for the moment you are in and has already conquered tomorrow!! ENJOY HIM!! And above all…..STUDY FOR HIM – knowing He will lift you up in due time to do HIS work!! May He bless you and all the work of your hands!!! Deut. 28:12

  30. Kathleen says:

    I did look ahead at Chapter 12. However my kindle does not line up very well. Do you have this chapter in pdf? Though a printed copy to refer to would be helpful.

  31. Debbie Jo Vondrak says:

    More grace in the areas of healing and addictions; who I am in this season of my life…

    “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” a new creation every day–thank you, God!!!!! Thank you, Jesus!!!!!

  32. Miranda says:

    I need to give myself more grace when it comes to be perfect in work and other things. Its okay to make mistakes. We all do .Im learning to let it go and move on. Thank you Lord that You don’t require us to be perfect. Its entirely too much work to be “prefect” all the time. I can let go and rest in my Father’s hands knowing that I am loved just the way I am!

  33. feeling like im not good enough because im always messing up

  34. Rachel S says:

    I definitely need God’s grace when it comes to living for Him. I regularly have guilt for not being “better” at the life He has given me.

  35. Tammy Haymon says:

    Like many of you have shared, I know that I blow it all the time. I loved Renee’s transparency in sharing her “blowing it” moment. Cursing is something I struggle with on occasion and something I have to surrender daily to God. I don’t have trouble believing God can forgive me and cover me with his grace. But I sure have trouble forgiving myself and often beat myself up for my mistakes. I am so thankful for Renee’s faithfulness in sharing how to focus on God and His Word.

  36. An area that I need more of God’s grace is in the area of my food choices. I have been able to maintain my 90 pound weight loss now for almost 5 years. I work for the company that helped me to establish a healthy life style and helped me lose weight. I am very disciplined in my food choices. When I have slip ups, go way “off plan”, or have more then one portion of something, I tend to become critical of myself and end up being way too hard on myself. Moments like these are when I need the Lord’s grace. Accepting that I will have slip ups, and that is ok! I have owned the Truth from Ephesians 2:10 (and many of the great advice found in chapter 8) that I am God’s masterpiece! I’m created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good works that He planned for me so long ago. I am grateful that He allowed me to become healthy, lose my weight, so that I can better serve Him and His kingdom purpose in my life.

    • TABITHA JONES says:

      Kourt I understand how you feel. I have lost 51 lbs in about a year and need to lose at least 50 more. It is so hard to not have slip ups. I get tired of always dieting. I have had to ask God to help me to not give up. I am at a point were I lose 5 lbs and then gain 5 lbs. I will be praying for you and ask that you pray for me,

  37. TABITHA JONES says:

    I need more grace in my food choices and being to hard on myself. I mess up everyday and I really talk myself down when I mess up. It is not easy being a christian but I deal with the struggles cause it will be worth it all in the end. My temper and patience gets me in lots of trouble but I know with Gods grace I can conquer it. My food choices are not good sometimes and I get so mad at myself cause I will lose 5 lbs and can gain it back in one day. Please pray for me that I will do better.

  38. Thank you for being so willing to share those places where you most desperately need God’s grace. I want to be that friend who reminds you of the truth your heart was created with a need for the gift of Grace – favor undeserved – love unconditionally lavished over you by your Heavenly Father.

    The enemy wants us stuck in that cycle of beating ourselves up, living defeated day in and day out. But we can choose differently. We can look at the patience and Grace God extends to us and accept it as a gift – each and every day.

    Just for tomorrow, will you be as kind to yourself as Jesus is. Just for one day – try it. receive it and see how different things can be when you live loved and forgiven each moment, each day.

    Cant wait to hear what God shows you and how He loves on you as you read Chapter 10 🙂

  39. I need more grace when it comes to my quick temper and anger.

  40. Renee, I love the honesty in your story and I thank you for sharing. It does make me feel so much better to know there are others like me! My biggest struggle is my mouth. I can be right in the Word, feeling great, learning lots and then I get around others, caught up in the moment and stupidity comes out. My faith has grown so much over the last two years but when I make these mistakes I beat myself up thinking “how will anyone ever see the difference in me and I believe I’m a Christian??” I know now that its the enemy hitting my weakest point but its a struggle. I love the line “It’s about turning sooner”. As I draw myself closer to him, I do still mess up but I find myself responding differently. Over the weekend, I’ve had a really short fuse and I found myself with my eyes closed in the car trying to ‘capture each thought’ and just turn it over to Jesus. Instead of going to bed at night beating myself up for the sins of the day, I really need to also rejoice and thank Him for those times I felt the Holy Spirit’s guidance or where I felt I may have made a difference through His strength. Sometimes it may be just being thankful for toilet paper on the roll but it really helps the confidence as well!

  41. Grace… I love that word, and I’m so grateful for his grace in my life.
    I would love God to show his grace , when I’m not doing what ever he ask me to do. For him to make
    My path straight when I’m doing wrong in his eyes. I’m so grateful for his mercy and grace, he showed me in my past, future and present. I have made mistakes, and his grace shows me that he loves me unconditionally.
    If I had one wish in this life, I would God to make me whole again. Give me wisdom to except the things I can’t not change, to courage to change things that I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

  42. I really need God’s grace in my life. Life is hard and seems to be worse at times. I am craving His forgiveness and His teaching of His true grace. I do that by praying, reading His word and the way I conduct my life. But there are so many side roads that can be taken so I need to trust He is guiding me. So many mistakes, I need to know that by Grace, I can try over and over and He will not desert me. If Jesus didn’t have my back….I would be in so much trouble. Thanks be to God, Amen

  43. Michelle says:

    The GRACE I need is healing. This pain I have been living with for almost
    2 years and I just turned 40, single and struggling. I just had
    2 injections in my back and they were my hope to improve and they made me worse. I am developing a
    Stronger relationship with God, brought closer by my family losses last month.
    I am learning how to pray. I have prayed using God’s word to heal
    And I am in so much pain, even worse. I feel I am losing hope. I have
    Already hit bottom with job loss and depression and loss and now my hope
    For this debilitating disc sciatica pain after treatment and prayer is making
    Me hope waver. I am walking a fine line with hope as it is.mI believe God
    Can heal but am I asking correctly?I am using his words to pray. I’m In so much pain
    And am allergic to pain medicine, nothing helps. I feel without God’shelp, without a step in a
    Positive direction I will lose the little hope I had.

  44. A word in season, grace. I certainly need grace and to show grace towards others today. Yesterday a group of contract workers in my department, lashed by refusing lunches from the contracted caterer. They did not say anything to me prior to the delivery of lunches. It was at lunch time when I was told that the contract workers have refused to eat and their lunches have been brought to our offices. Their reason is that they hand a running tummy on Saturday, unfortunately that was not communicated to me. On Sunday they hand lunch from the same caterer and things were fine. I need wisdom and grace on how to deal with this issue. Am talking about 15 contract workers on site!!!!

  45. Ogunbanwo Ogheneruemu says:

    I needed this at this time. God is never too late. Thank you Renee. God bless you.

  46. ….keeping my attitude in check at work when surrounded by negativitiy, and the constant reminder of rules at the end of the school year, being short tempered when I’m home with my husband and 2 1/2 year old when she doesn’t listen well or follow our rules.

    …I am on a journey to seek peace in my life. I want a peaceful spirit and a gentle heart!

  47. I need grace in areas of my life where I’ve made wrong choices in my past that cause me to carry a lot if guilt and shame. Allowing Gods grace to help me forgive others but mostly forgive myself. Learning to accept His grace and let it pour on me saturating every area in my life including my past. I heard someone say recently that where there is forgiveness there is grace, where there is grace, there is freedom and where there is freedom, there is joy.

  48. Chelsea Thode says:

    I LOVED the belief and verse stated in Chapter 10 that reads: “Because God chose to come to Gideon instead of someone else, I believe Gideon must have been seeking God and desired to follow Him. Second Chronicles 16:9 tells us that ‘The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.'”
    I draw so much encouragement and strength from this statement and scripture. I have been seeking God with my whole heart and he has been seeking me, too! God knows me and wants to use me. We have found each other and His will can now be furthered through my life. What an awesome relationship!
    Sisters in Christ…spend time with him each day and cultivate a relationship with him. There is such fruit of the spirit when you come to walk lock step with him each day.
    God bless!

  49. Morning
    Reading the story’s of all above touch the deepest part of my heart…it gives me the confident heart to just keep moving….one thing I love to do is take a word that is Am and find an anagram word of who is Fm…

    As I journal these things come and it is a big part of my walk….I know that right now this lesson along with saying yes to God by Lysa T is my journey walk to where God is leading….Lysa’s book is with a group of women and Renee’s is my personal study, but so go together in where God is taking me….each word we get for our weekly word has been so right on and confirming his plan….His Grace will carry me wherever I go, because of the deep love he has for us, His daughters….

    I have made such sweet friends on here:)

    So amazing how we all have different story’s, but yet the same daddy who will do exceedingly above all….
    I love each of you my sisters….and Renee, Ty for being you and sharing your gifting a with us….I pray you someday come closer to where I live and do a conference….

    Patty

  50. Claudia says:

    I need God’s grace when it comes to relationships. I recently met a very nice man who potentially could be someone special in my life. My fear of relationships and getting hurt again led me to start running in the opposite direction. God calmed me down and told me to give Jeff a chance. I know God has a plan, He works everything out for my good, and He will be with me every step of the way.

  51. Janet F says:

    I need grace for so many things that have been mentioned in all the comments, Neg self talk, anger, temper, attitude, my mouth!! WOW my mouth get’s me into so much trouble and I am so grieved knowing I have grieved the Holy Spirit. I am also doing another OBS, “Stressed-Less Living” and in Tracie’s book she says “Could it be that your attitude is one of the biggest giants you face, more so than the situation you are facing?” My attitude affects all that I need grace for. Praying that God will change my attitude so that my anger, temper, mouth etc. reflects the Father!!

  52. Jenny Rutan says:

    Definately my self-esteem. I am S L O W L Y learning of who I am in Christ though. LOL I thank God for His GRACE and MERCY!

  53. “Just for tomorrow will you try to be kind to yourself as Jesus is.” It’s a work through Christ, but I will try, for today and in Christ each new day after that, to love myself through Christ. He is working a miracle in my life as I learn to love myself. After all, how can I love my neighbor as myself if I don’t know the first thing about loving myself. It’s a renewing of my mind each and every moment of each and every day to remember that God loved us so much that He gave us Jesus to die for us and to forgive us our sins so that we can be restored to God and know His GREAT LOVE!

  54. Florence says:

    I’m having a hard time concentrating on anything. Plus I am feeling very depressed. Please pray for me, I need help organizing the inside of my home without expense.

    • Florence, I will pray for you.

    • Florence, I can relate, I sometimes feel “scattered”……… I will be praying for you.
      I love Philipians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer, supplication with thankgiving, make your requests be known to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and verse 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

      God Bless

  55. Forgiveness of myself. I forgive others so easily, but I hold anger to myself for things that happened that I wasn’t emotionally strong enough to handle.

  56. Britney says:

    I need God’s grace in my selfishness. I am selfish with my time and my heart, or feelings. At times I am even selfish with my money and my possessions, which I know are not my to begin with.

  57. I have taken on everything by myself for so long it is just so hard to trust Him to show me how to be! Oh am I EVER in need of GRACE, I know God has a plan, but I just don’t trust that yet.

  58. Yes, grace is dutifully needed here. This has been quite a past week with listening to God and seeing freedom. then waiting on God as he provided- growing my trust in him as he came through with more than asked. stressed over blowing it with the kids. then this morning being reminded , God does not keep a record of wrongs. Fear had set its roots in me from early in life. It is Jesus that renders fear powerless….I was encouraged that Gideon asked God to confirm, it was He who said to do that. I will no longer be afraid to ask God to confirm what He said to do……for me..

  59. I need God’s amazing grace at the end of somedays, when I feel weary and become short with the kids, and they don’t understand when I try to explain, I need their help. On these days I ask God, “Am I doing this right?” Are your tired of me asking? On these days I feel “scattered” Im trying to sit and read God’s word, and I have to do this or that, and finally after I get anxiety, I pray sit and start my study, and the phone rings, it’s one of the older kids and they don’t live near by, so I answer because of “worry”, I find that they are ok, tell them I’ll call back, by then I”m out of the zone as you mentioned Renee, I so loved the “Desert Storm” I so related to your story. And yes I’ve used to “mule” word against my husband and our 17 year old heard…I felt quilt, I disrepected God, my husband and my child. What kind of a mom am I? I then go to page 222….Thank You Renee “I feel overwhelmed” God tells me “I will give you peace” John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence…AMEN…..Philipians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing… Promises of never leaving us alone, forgiving us even when we don’t feel we should be forgiven.
    I totally love page 187…especially the part where you say, it’s not about trying harder, it’s about turning sooner, confessing sin and turning back to God’s gift of grace….His undeserved favor! GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE….so many scriptures and prayers you share with us in this book….I’m going to keep your book with my bible…..Thank You for loving us and sharing all you have, and working even when you have been so busy with your mom. I am praying for you and your family. God has truly used you and this book to bless so many of us and for that I am truly grateful.

    Ephesians 2:8 “by grace (we) have been saved, through faith—and this not from (ourselves), it is the goft of God”….Amen

  60. Hi Renee, I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed this online study. I am a wife, mother of three (9, 11,13) and a nursing student. This is the only thing I can commit to and I am so grateful to have it. I love how real you are in Ch.10. It is so nice to remember that we are all human and God chooses to love us because He made us. Thank you!

  61. Hi, Renee.

    I am really appreciating this study. It is exactly what I am needing. A few of the lessons that I am getting from the Lord and through you is that:

    1) this is not easy 🙂
    2) I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ;
    3) I must CHOOSE to live in the light of God’s promises, made available through Christ;
    4) I must CHOOSE to replace the lies of my childhood, my past, and the enemy with the unchangeable truth of God’s Word;
    5) this is not easy ~ (did I mention that this is not easy?)
    6) I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!
    7) this is a daily, moment by moment journey, not a once in a while thing.

    So, one thing that I am really putting effort into is speaking God’s truth to myself when my flesh is telling me I am a wretch. So, instead of talking to myself, I am trying to remember that there is One much wiser than I am to talk to, and to listen to. Another is that I am making God’s word a bigger part of my daily intake. It is food for my spirit. I am using index cards with Bible verses on them, keeping them in my purse. I am preaching the Gospel to myself regularly. I am doing the timeline (may take a while!). I am reading my Bible through. Thank you for all of the good tools to apply to help replace the lies with truth and the doubts with confidence and the fears with victory.

    You are a blessing!

  62. Jennyp1973 says:

    I need grace when I feel shameful if things aren’t perfect, or not up to ‘my standards’…however grace is God loving me just as I am…my husband loving me just as I am…my safe friends loving me just as I am. I need grace when I don’t trust in God’s plan or His timing…I need grace when I don’t respond loving…I need grace when I doubt His faithfulness. I just need grace…and I’m so thankful Jesus provides that for us.

    I have been so busy with work travel and have not taken the time to participate in the study other than reading last few weeks…feeling pressure since I am only income while my husband has been unemployed from a layoff. Thankful that I can provide for us, but weary at times. Praying for strength thru Him.

  63. I need God’s grace in all the areas of my life. i’m impatient, moody, doubtful, selfish, envious….the list goes on. I feel like i’m in a constant state of failure and I wont see the way out. I know I don’t deserve God’s grace, but one day I hope I come to a true place of understanding of His love, grace, and forgiveness.

    • Gloria C says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart, “J.” Knowing our problems and facing them is the first step toward healing, so you are already on your way! What helps me the most is focusing on God and others instead of myself. When I keep my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, I no longer focus on my faults and failures because I am seeing HIM and His love for me and others. I see that others have problems too, some a lot worse than my own. Then I can thank Him for what He has done for me. I can try to live my life as He lived His, loving and caring for people. When we take our eyes off ourselves and our problems, His light shines into the darkest places of our heart and brings true freedom and peace. Praying for you, dear sister, and asking God to give you the grace you are asking for.

  64. Gloria C says:

    I loved this chapter! Fear has been an ongoing issue in my life since I was a child. It has taken different shapes and forms, but has always been there. The things that really jumped out at me in this chapter were the statements “…it’s not about trying harder. It’s about turning sooner.” Also, ” We can turn away from the shadow of doubt and stand in the light of God’s truth.” I also loved the verse, Judges 6:11 “The angel of the Lord came and sat down….” Isn’t that just like God to get down on our level. He sits with us and listens to us, strengthening us when we are weak or afraid. Someone asked me to do something outside my comfort zone recently. I felt inadequate and afraid. I felt fear rising up inside me and I cried. I talked to a friend about it and she encouraged me in the Lord. She said if He wanted me to do it, He would strengthen me and give me the tools and wisdom I needed. She was right! I started the task last night and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I still have a long way to go (it’s a project lasting over many weeks), but feel more peace because I know God is with me. Will I have doubts again? I hope not! But if I do, I know God will sit down with me and say, “Don’t be afraid! I’m with you.” Be encouraged, dear sisters, God is with you!

  65. I need to know Gods grace for my situation, that he still accepts me even though I am struggling with the children on my own, am tired and irritable with them and that my anger and stress comes out in ways i don;t want it to around my chikdren, especially as its not them cuasing it abut my husband who chose to leave me and be seperated from me. That knowing Gods grace for me so that he can help me be gracefull towards my husband even though i know he is just waiting for time to pass so he can devorce me, is the hardest lesson i am trying to learn.
    I am desperate for a break, physically, emotionally and mentally. I need to be able to hold on to the truths but all i can do is blurb to God and then put some worship music on so i can re focus on him. I want to get on with things and not think about it but i have to as i have deal with the situation. it is so complicated sorting things out i just want out!
    Any prayers or encouragments would be really good if any one has any for me….Please.
    Babs

  66. renee, i was wondering if you were going to teach this again? i really didn’t get to do any of the study this time around because it was a crazy spring at my house. i really really need to do the study (do you have it as a study package so that someone can facilitate a small group? i might consider doing that with some friends. then i would have to get it done 🙂 thanks for any input you can give me. (i think part of it was that i was intimidated by the fact that it was such a large participatory number. i have a hard time with crowds (even virtual ones)

  67. The statement “It’s not about trying harder. It’s about turning sooner.” I shall memorize that & use it, for myself and to encourage others of God’s sweet grace! Thanks so much!

  68. Wow. Such a poignant message for this season of my life right now! It’s always amazing how God knows that you will see a message when you are ready to see it. And those words will resonate with you better at that time then any other time! This is the first time I have visited your blog and I am enjoying reading the stories you share! Thank you!

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