Grace is the divine means of help or strength given to us from our Father through his son, Jesus Christ. This power is available to all people, to enable to us to move forward in our lives and receive spiritual healing. Grace is a powerful tool that can be used to help us heal from the challenges life presents.

Many challenges happen in the family. Because we are designed to love and cherish family, some of the deepest wounds can be a result of trauma - whether it be intentional or unintentional - in the family. We tend to be emotionally vulnerable to our family, thus in the family there is much room for hurt. The power given us through grace can be used to both forgive and heal family hurts.

Using grace to forgive

The ultimate example of forgiveness is found in the Gospel of Luke when Christ is on the cross. At this point, he has suffered immensely: He suffered for all of our sins and pains in the Garden. He was betrayed by one of his disciples with a kiss. He was mocked. He was beaten, scourged and crucified.

As Christ hung on the cross, he cried, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Soon after, he gave up the ghost.

Because of Christ's suffering for us so we can all be forgiven of our sins if we repent, and because of his immediate and loving forgiveness for those who so unjustly wronged him, we are able to forgive. It's not always easy. In fact, sometimes it takes quite a long time to forgive. But through faith in Christ and diligence in living after his example, we are able to forgive. Even if we don't feel like the burden is too heavy, but especially when the burden IS too heavy, he will help carry us. He always helps carry us.

Christ has already forgiven, and it's up to us to choose to lean on him to help us forgive, as well.

Using grace to heal

Although we mostly talk about Christ's sacrifice in terms of repentance and forgiveness, there is much more to his suffering than that. He suffered that we may be healed. It's part of the plan.

Because of Adam's fall, mankind became lost and fallen. We became subject to temptations and darkness. People choose to follow those temptations and act in darkness. And sometimes, because of people's choices, we get hurt. Sometimes we are deeply hurt.

The grace of God allows us to heal. Christ suffered for every single pain and heartache on this earth. And he did that alone so he would know exactly what we need to be lifted up. He uses his knowledge, power, and experience to lift us up and help us heal. It's up to us to seek that healing power.

We can seek his grace through prayer and meditation. As we pray, we will be able to draw closer to him and align our will with his.

We can seek his grace and power as we serve and love others around us - a sure way to feel his love envelop us.

Through his grace, he will grant us little mercies or blessings to help us get through like a friend calling to see how we are doing, sending a card wishing you a good day, or bringing over a plate of treats to say, "I've been thinking about you." He may help us find the perfect scripture to get us through the day. Or he may send perfectly sunny weather to brighten up our spirits on a particular day. He can do so much. But we have to look and recognize that all good is from him, or else we won't recognize we are being healed through him.

Grace, the gift that gives us strength, is always available. God wants us to be able to forgive and be healed. He has not (and will not) leave us comfortless. As we reach out to take his hand, we will be able to forgive and heal from our hurts.

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