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Encouragement in Ungracious Places

We consider difficulties, trials, hurts, and challenges as ungracious because they seem so far from what we envision as indicative of God’s grace. But I wonder which is correct? Are the unpleasant experiences in life ungracious, or do we have a misunderstanding of God’s grace?

As you might know, the entirety of Scripture is replete with verses detailing the gracious attributes of God. However, there are several biblical characters who discuss our Father more lucidly, and with greater volume, than all of the others. From the heights and depths of their lives, they make a concerted effort to tell us about Him and the intervention of His unfathomable, relentless grace.

Just as their lives were filled with ungracious circumstances, the same awaits us on the road to tomorrow. But as only mentors can do, they offer words of encouragement concerning their journey and the encompassing grace of God.

For example, when Moses wrote Deuteronomy, he was addressing the people he had given his life to and led to the cusp of the Promised Land for the last time. As they stood facing the realization of their promise, they recognized the prospect of war, temptation, and a new way of life—all under the unproven leadership of Joshua.

What do you suppose Moses filled his final address with? That’s right. He reminded the people of who God is and how His very character preceded them as they contemplated crossing the Jordan River. At the threshold of ungracious uncertainty, Moses encouraged Israel to reflect on their Foundation.

Likewise, our lives are threaded with the same tapestry of detail—beautiful from in front of the finished product, but from the back, knotted and ungracious. Our testimony can provide the same catalyst of encouragement and hope to others who find themselves in ungracious places.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.