In Wesleyan theology, justification is one of three forms of grace. Prevenient grace is the Holy Spirit at work in a person’s soul, inviting them into relationship, inspiring a longing for God’s mercy even if the person is unaware of the movement of God in their life. Justifying grace is a gift from God that comes when we decide to actively trust in Jesus and receive God’s pardon and acceptance. Finally, sanctifying grace is the process of growing to be more like Christ, who showed us what perfect love toward God and neighbor looks like. Wesley called it, “The Way of Salvation.”
Different from many plans or processes in life, a person can’t check one box and move on to the next stage of grace. Often, we move back and forth between them, sometimes backsliding into a lack of awareness of or trust in God. At other times, we may find we are moving towards sanctification and having a much easier time imitating Christ in our life.
Where do you find yourself at this point in your life? Can you think of a concrete moment when you placed your trust in Jesus or did it happen over a period of time? What practices help when you find yourself backsliding? What would it look like to be more Christlike in the way you love God and neighbor?
In prayer, ask God for the endurance to continue pursuing a hope-filled life.