Amazing Grace (4)
Every Friday in 2015 we consider a verse from our “Hymn of the Month.”
Through many dangers toils and snares
I have already come
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home
If anyone knew of “dangers, toils, and snares,” it would have been John Newton. He saw, experienced, and caused a lot of suffering during his days aboard slave-trading ships. When he wrote of those three experiences he undoubtedly had specific memories that came to mind.
While the Christian life is a blessed life, it is not an easy life. Our Lord was called the “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). He walked a path the led to his suffering and execution. And his words from Luke 9:23 serve as a pattern of the Christian experience: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” With the great promise of salvation we gladly lose our lives for the sake of our Lord, spending them in obedience to his will.
What we find in the midst of the “dangers, toils, and snares” of life is that God’s grace is still there. In fact, God’s grace is especially present in times of trouble. I’ve heard it said that “God has tailor made grace for everything we face,” and all Christians can affirm its truth. Indeed, when we are at our weakest we have found that he has made us strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Newton acknowledges that life is suffering, but at the same time he notes that God is faithful. His grace sustains us in days of trials past, and his grace will sustain us in days of trials future as well. One of the greatest promises of the Bible is that God’s sustaining grace will always be there. We have confidence to put our faith in God’s future grace and trust that his grace will indeed “lead my home.”