Landing on Grace | Bible Gleanings – November 12-13, 2022

He was left dangling and fearing for his life. The young man was being hazed by his college fraternity, and he was carried to a secluded spot in the woods where he was lowered by a greasy rope into an abandoned murky well. He figured his friends would fetch him after a few minutes, but he was mistaken. His bones shook as he saw that they tied their end of the rope over a bar at the top of the well, leaving him hanging in mid-air. After a half-hour of shoulder-burning torture, he let go of the slippery rope and plummeted into the well—until he planted safely on the dirt two inches beneath his feet!

Solid ground caught him when he let go, and sovereign grace is always there to catch believers in Christ when they “let go” of the rope of obedience to God. When we sin against the Lord and let go of Him, we will never plummet all the way to spiritual death (cf. John 5:24; 2 Tim. 4:18). However, that doesn’t mean the fall to His sod of steadfast love will be pleasant. When sin loosens our grip on God, we will be bruised on the way down by His loving discipline and the charitable rebuke of our faithful brethren (Heb. 3:13; 12:11). And we may fall as far as Peter did, even denying that we know Christ (Luke 22:54-62), but if we truly belong to God, we will always land on His sovereign grace. 

Christian, sometimes you will lose your way, but Christ will never lose you. He promised, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:39). Sin may slick your hands and relax your hold on grace, but Christ’s nail-scarred hands will never let go of you. “I give them eternal life,” Jesus assured, “and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).

Of course, this is not an incentive to let go of the Lord. May God forbid that we view His sustaining grace as liberty to let go! To the contrary, the Lord calls us to “continue in the faith” and continue no longer in sinful ways (cf. Romans 6:1-4; Col. 1:21-23). Instead, this heartening truth is a holy rationale to wholly rely on God’s relentless grace to catch us when we fall. Therefore, all believers in the grip of grace may exclaim with the psalmist David, “Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:10, KJV).

The words of the hymn He Will Hold Me Fast perfectly capture the believer’s assurance of sovereign grace, saying:

“When I fear my faith will fail,

Christ will hold me fast;

When the tempter would prevail,

He can hold me fast!

Refrain:

He will hold me fast,

He will hold me fast;

For my Savior loves me so,

He will hold me fast.

2 I could never keep my hold,

He must hold me fast;

For my love is often cold,

He must hold me fast.

3 I am precious in His sight,

He will hold me fast;

Those He saves are His delight,

He will hold me fast. 

4 He’ll not let my soul be lost,

Christ will hold me fast;

Bought by Him at such a cost,

He will hold me fast.”1

  1. Habershon, Ada R. “He Will Hold Me Fast.” The New National Baptist Hymnal, 2001. Hymn published in 1906.
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

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