John 5:24 states, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” How good is the gospel? Reflect on the verse above for a minute. For some, Christianity is joyful, delightful, and refreshing. Others, like myself, struggle to find joy in Christianity because of the way we perceive life. One party has the proper perspective of Christianity, and one party does not (hint… I’m in the party that does not have a proper perspective). How, or why, is this the case? I think it has a lot to do with our inherent wiring. A wide spectrum of personalities and dispositions to life is present within humanity. Some folks always see the good in life while others see what needs correcting. Some see the best in others, some see the worst, and some see areas to help others. Some see challenges as exhilarating while others see them as overwhelming. Some see conflict a necessity for change, others dread it to their core, and others live to cause conflict. Some see Christianity as a means to freedom, others see it as a call to die, and some see it as undesirable. Some see the church as their joy, some see it as work, and some see it as a place of disdain. Some see giving and sacrifice as a honor, some a requirement, and some undesirable. In truth, no one has the right perspective in everything. The way God designed our personalities may gift us with a good starting point in some perspectives, but other perspectives will require sanctification through the Holy Spirit in order to be found correct. This is a tough concept for us to embrace; therefore, I would like provide some encouragement within this area through personal testimony. Recently, the Lord has revealed to me through His word that I struggle to accept His grace and mercy. Let me explain. I believe that God saves. I believe that we are saved by the sacrifice and work of Jesus Christ. I believe that we neither earn nor deserve salvation from God. I believe that we are kept by God through His wonderful promises and love. However—and this is a big however—I don’t always live like I believe these truths. My makeup leads me to doubt the Lord’s saving work. How? I constantly try to “keep” myself saved. I feel like I must work hard and avoid sin or God will cast me from His presence. I feel like if I don’t do my part, God won’t do His part. The consequences for such inward motivation are dire. I often struggle to experience joy in life because I’m consumed by the work of making myself into something I have zero ability to achieve. However, when I read verses like John 5:24 I am reminded that God does not need my help in saving me, all He asks of me is to trust in His salvation. God saved me because I could not. God keeps me because He knows I would leave if it were dependent upon my ability to secure my salvation. God HAS saved me—it’s not up for debate, it’s a done deal! What a relief! Such verses bring great comfort and joy to those who struggle to remember just how merciful and gracious our God is towards us. How great is our God! How wonderful is His care for us! In light of my struggles, I have two questions for you today:
IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU DOUBT AND STRUGGLE WITH CHRISTIANITY?
WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?