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February 1              

Arrows of the Almighty



Prevailing Grace
"I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners." (Isaiah 57:18)
     Grace can be resisted yet when God chooses, He will overcome our resistance. Our text tells us that God chastises His rebellious people by striking them and hiding His face: "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry" (verse 17).
     But they did not respond with repentance, they kept right on backsliding, ignoring God. "But he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart" (verse 17).
     Yes, grace can be resisted. In fact, Stephen said to the Jewish leaders, "You always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51). Is God then powerless to bring those who resist to repentance and wholeness? Not at all as the next verse says, "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners" (Isaiah 57:18).
     Right in the face of recalcitrant, grace-resisting backsliding, God says, "I will heal him." He will "restore." The word for restore is also translated "to make whole." The next verse tells us that God turns around a grace-resisting backslider by "'creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace (shalom, shalom), to the far and to the near,' says the Lord, 'and I will heal him'" (Isaiah 57:19). God creates what is not there - peace and wholeness.
     We are saved by grace through faith, brought back from backsliding - again and again. God's grace will triumph over our resistance by creating praise where it did not exist.
     Worship, pray and believe for those you love, God will restore the soundness of submission. His people will be whole and full of peace.




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