|photo courtesy of antranias via pixabay.com|
The price to know this peace, grace, and hope, doesn’t come cheap. How could it? Who wouldn’t give just about anything to know a kind of peace, grace, and hope that goes on forever? But you need not be concerned with the price, for the price has been paid. In fact, there is not a thing in the world that you can do to earn this peace, grace, and hope. How can you earn what has already been paid for? But there is in fact a requirement to receive this eternal peace, grace, and hope. And the requirement is this. Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your spiritual new birth, your new beginning that comes with repentance and faith placed in Christ is the ticket to a peace, grace, and hope that is unimaginable. No more roller coaster. For this peace, grace, and hope are not contingent on your everyday life. They are contingent on the life of Jesus Christ.
So where must you begin? Confess your sins, turn from your wicked ways to the living God, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, came to this earth as a man, died on the cross to bear the penalty of God’s wrath for your sins, and rose three days later to ascend to heaven where He sits on the right hand of God until He comes again. When you are genuinely sorry for your sins against God, when you sincerely turn from your past and seek after the Lord and learn to live according to His ways rather than yours and the world’s, you will know the peace of God that is eternal, the grace of God which is forever, and the hope of God which is everlasting.
What, you may wonder, is on the other side of this door once you are born again by believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and begin this new life of salvation? Will it be an easy life? No. I will not lie. At times, it may be excruciatingly hard. Jesus said we would have tribulations. But He also said we should rejoice because He has overcome the world. And through our faith in Him, we are promised everlasting life with God. So you know there will be tribulations. But you will not face them alone. You will face them in Christ, through Christ, with the strength that comes from God when you walk in His ways as you face them, and with the promise of eternal life in heaven with God where every hardship and tear will be gone.
Then, you may wonder, will it be easy to live according to God’s ways? No. It will not. I will not lie. For your flesh will scream at times to go back to a life of pleasure and prosperity, of luxury and ease, of choosing the comfortable, of entering into temptation each time it comes, of doing what everyone else in the world seems to be doing, of running back into the alluring arms of Satan’s tantalizing delights. But each time you get your flesh under subjection, each time you deny your flesh and say yes to God and what He is commanding you to do, each time you submit to Him and choose His way instead, you will know the satisfaction of having pleased the Lord, you will see the fruit of living righteously, you will experience a purity and have access to the joy of being conformed to the image of Christ and have access to enjoying growing intimacy with the Lord your Maker.
Why, then, you might ask, would you want to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, pick up a Bible, study it and learn to live the way God commands? Why would you give up a life of pleasure seeking for a life that promises at times to be extraordinarily hard as Jesus calls you to deny yourself (your own dreams, desires, agenda, etc.), to take up your cross, and to follow Him as you become conformed to His image? Is the peace, the grace, and the hope that are eternal worth it?
Oh, if you only knew the heights and depths of God’s love, if you only experienced the indescribable peace, the ever comfort of His grace, the amazing hope of knowing you will spend forever with God by believing in Jesus and turning away from your evil ways and following Christ. If you only knew the phenomenal intimacy that you might know with the Creator of the universe as you bow down before Him and live the way He intended, loving Him, worshiping Him, serving Him as His precious child. If you only knew the awesome freedom, the feeling of being clean like you have never been clean before, when you immerse yourself in His peace, grace, and hope.
So then even when trials and tribulations come, you might be filled with the love of God to such an astonishing degree that you might realize no pleasure on this earth, which is always only temporary, can even compare to knowing that you are living in the light of the Lord with your heart and hope set not on this very moment but on the One who is forever. The Lord.
Cast away, then, your hesitations, your hurdles, even your pleasures. Turn away from the wickedness that screams yet again for you to satisfy your flesh and go back to the debauchery you have had such great difficulty leaving behind, and throw yourself headlong at the feet of the Lord God almighty. Plead mercy. Receive Jesus Christ. Receive the power He has for you to become a son or daughter of God.
Know His peace. Receive His grace. Hold onto the hope. No matter what this day might bring, know that this day will soon pass. But there is One who is eternal. Marvel at the magnificence of our Creator who could have turned his back on all humanity for eternity because of our sins, but instead sent His only begotten Son to the cross so that by repenting and believing in Him we would be reconciled to our Creator God and obey Him by walking in His ways and spend now and forever in the high calling of His incomparable, indescribable love.
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1: 14-15 NASB underlining added
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5 NASB
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 KJV