Training for Reigning - 03 - The Grace of Acceptance

THE GRACE OF ACCEPTANCE
You WON’T FIND THIS grace mentioned by that name in the Bible, but certainly you will recognize it in the lives of all those men and women who pleased God, and above and beyond all, in the life of the Man Christ Jesus. And in this much too fast age, when so many of the Lord’s people are beset with Nervous Tensions and Emotional Conflicts, by Frustrations, Fears, Resentments, or Habitual Worry . . . with unhappy aftermaths of mental confusion, or un-Christian conflict with others, quarreling in the home, separations (alas!) . . . numbers of which build-ups have ended in psycho-neuroses requiring treatment in mental hospitals (several such cases being known to the writer)
surely it will be of interest to not a few of our readers to learn that there is a way of peace for the people of God, while anything less must be displeasing to Him.
Martha Haskell Clark wrote:
"One at a time the waiting line lagged by,
Each with his tale of shattered nerves and life:
A house-hold servant worn with drudgery,
A school-girl over-taxed, an unloved wife,
A sullen, frightened youth with sin deified,
A fur-wrapped matron fumbling with her glove,
A sleepless mother mourning for her child,
A soul-starved spinster, hungering for love,
Pale wraiths of women, gaunt-eyed wrecks of men,
I saw them pause and gather heart again."
Her list is long; yet all of us who live close enough to the daily lives of the Lord’s people to be familiar with their struggles, stresses and strains, their heartaches, and seldom-disclosed concerns or secret fears, know that the record is very far too short. How many more might be added, such as:
- the young husband bitterly disappointed in his wife’s failure to become a good home-maker.
- meals never ready when he comes home; house always untidy;
- children unruly, yet she battles to shield them from his efforts to correct them.
-the young wife who feels that her husband neglects her, now that their first love has simmered down; who tires of her responsibilities as a wife and mother, becomes hysterical at times, and thinks a lot about running away.
- the ‘teen-ager who feels life is too hard; that he or she never can hope to measure up to its demands; who tries to escape from responsibility, lapses into periods of depression, plus much selfpity, but who finally "snaps out of it" or else begins the downhill retreat from reality, like Peter Pan, into "the never, never land."
- the business man, over-burdened, who faces a nervous breakdown mainly because situations are arising, constantly, that require immediate decisions, or action, which he is unprepared to attempt.
- the jilted lover, despondent, floundering in wonderings why it could have happened - why God allowed it - in fears and despondency.
- the brother who has always longed for attention, but, since he lives in a small town, has found no chance to be anything more than a labourer; who dreams of becoming a preacher (!), tries hard in various ways to gain recognition, but failing, becomes a victim of his resentments which, Cain-like, he takes out on others - mostly his own loved ones.
And so the story might be extended until this book should overflow. Psychologists and psychiatrists have been seeking solutions for all such behaviour problems. And they have learned many useful things. But save for such help as may be received from born-again psychiatrists, Christians seldom find their services of lasting value. How can such men know anything whatever of "the peace of God" that He has designed to "garrison" our hearts and minds? They declare that maladjusted people need "a renewed spiritual and moral integration" (to quote one authority’s recently-made statement, and to which many more such quotations could be added). But HIM they know not; neither can they understand aright the spiritual resources of His children.

Furthermore, when Christians suffer from so-called nervous upsets, tensions, emotional conflicts of every kind, there is usually a basic traumatic condition which these men cannot hope to deal with. Let me point out to you, beloved, the truth I have had to face, squarely, myself:
THERE IS A CAUSE FOR THESE CONDITIONS. It is
written: "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come;" (Proverbs 26: 2). Moreover it is clear from Philippians 4: 6-7 that if we are be-fogged with anxieties it is because our hearts and minds are without a garrison.
In Isaiah 30: 15 the cause is stated inferentially. Israel lost her strength of quietness and confidence WHEN SHE REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE WILL OF GOD.
Other examples might be quoted from Scripture; but let me underline this truth by saying that (with respect to those of us who are saved) all forms of neurotic conditions, from bad tempers, or biting one’s finger nails, on down the list to actual psychotic states, indicate that there has been FAILURE, SOMEWHERE, TO RECOGNIZE, AND TO ACCEPT, THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR LIVES.
My space is at an end; but, in the will of the Lord, I shall hope to cite a few examples that will demonstrate the truth of this statement in our next chapter. So if you are one of those dear souls who are plagued with things "getting on your nerves," follow up this theme, won’t you? the principle of the Grace of Acceptance can mean a lot to you . . . can change your whole outlook on life!