Are you confident in God’s love for you, completely assured that you are right with Him?  In my pastoral care, I talk with people who wonder if they have made the cut with God, if an eternal home is really theirs, if He loves them truly.  Sometimes the source of their ‘dis-ease’ is a terrible choice of the past, a regrettable moment of moral failure. Sometimes their faith has been battered by extended suffering or loss. For a few, it is an incomplete knowledge of the Gospel; too much Hellfire preaching leaving out Amazing Grace!

In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes the case for Christ.  Humanity is held captive to sin, subject to judgment, destined to perish – except for the intervention of God. When you get to chapter 5 in his letter, he shifts to the assurance of the Christian. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, NIV)

No Christian need wonder about his acceptance with God!  Because of Jesus, and through faith, there are two amazing declarations God makes to us.

  1. We are at peace with Him! This is not just about an absence of conflict. This is about a state of being that envelopes our experience, that is greater than our emotions. There is serenity that flows out of what He has done to justify us – to erase the debt of our sin.  Beyond that He says that we are now reconciled to Him! “For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life.” (Romans 5:10, NLT)
  2. We enjoy access to Heaven’s favor!  The barriers are removed. The judgment is gone. We have access to GRACE.  When things get difficult in some area of life, having someone “on the inside” really can help, right?  The right person can open doors of opportunity for us.  Christ Jesus provides us that kind of ‘insider’ status.

We live in faith that focuses on Christ Jesus, not on ourselves. If we attempt to find assurance by trying harder, peace will elude us. If we measure ourselves against others, we will either fall into false pride or misery of inferiority.  He is our peace. He is our Open Door. What He did on our behalf is complete, totally satisfying the righteous demands of God, and giving us unwavering hope.

Paul anticipated a question that may be forming in your mind – “If God is for me, if I have this status of serenity and access to grace, why is my life filled with pain? Why am I suffering?”  You may not like his answer, but it is truth.  “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:2-5, NIV)  Suffering can have a purpose!  If we meet it with faith in Jesus, we can rejoice that He is developing a new kind of person in us – steady, deep, filled with Jesus, and hopeful.

Suffering does not always mean that there is something wrong with our devotion. It is not a punishment. The penalty for our sins and failures was taken by Christ Jesus. Suffering, when matched with faith, can make us beautiful.  That is not a popular idea, but it is grounded in the revelation of God’s Truth.

Whatever your situation, however you may be feeling today, turn your eyes to Jesus. He is our PEACE! The word from the Word declares the depth of His love for you, for me.  Receive Him and the gift in faith. “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment.” (Romans 5:6-9, NLT)

What blessed assurance!

Blessed Assurance

(Elevation Worship invites us to rest)

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation purchase of God
Born of His Spirit washed in His blood

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst at my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy whispers of love

Perfect submission all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love

Fanny Jane Crosby – Public Domain

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