‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…’
Romans 5 vs 1
Whether you’re experiencing a period of difficulties or wondering why nothing seems to be going right, know with absolute certainty that it is not because God is angry or displeased with you. For not only are you justified, but God is completely at peace with you.
The theological definition of justified means ‘declared or made righteous in the sight of God’.
Isn’t this what we all desire? Or better still, what we fear we do not have?
The constant fear of the Lord being upset with you for one misdemeanor or another not only erodes peace of mind but also obstructs the joys of a personal relationship with him.
As Christians, our greatest desire is the surety of God’s love for us – to be certain he is happy, pleased, and completely at peace with us. Unfortunately, we spend most of our time trying to fulfill this desire via our own efforts; and because we know we are not capable of attaining righteousness, we are perennially burdened with anxiety, worry, and guilt. For even the thoughts that run through our minds are enough to consign us to eternal perdition.
But the key to our justification lies not in our abilities or efforts, but in the all-conquering obedience of one man – Jesus Christ.
It is Jesus that justifies you and I.
We do not deserve it; and it cannot be earned.
He died for all your sins so that you are forever guaranteed of three things;
1. Your righteousness and salvation
2. God’s permanent peace with you
3. Your heavenly father’s never-ending pleasure in you as his precious, beloved, and blessed child
A transfer took place at the cross. All your sins were put on Jesus, and in return he gave you his righteousness – a gift that is never taken back.
Does this mean your life will be smooth-sailing?
Does it mean your God will allow you to do as you please?
I think not.
The fact God loves you means he will ensure you become the person he created you to be.
This is where the challenges begin.
The standards of God are and will always be high. I’m not referring to obedience and works, but of the necessary characteristics required to be the person he created you to be.
When it comes to the lives of his children, God will always get his way.
This is why he allows us to experience periods of challenges and difficulties. Whilst such times may or may not be of our own doing, he uses them to mold us into the individuals he designed us to be; remember – he works all situations for your good; even the toughest of moments.
He’s been doing so for his children since the beginning of time.
David – God utilised King Saul’s persecution of David to help him grow in humility, wisdom, and leadership
Joseph – His years of ill treatment and suffering were an opportunity for God to dismantle his arrogance, thereby preparing him to rule Egypt.
Moses – several years in the wilderness prepared him for leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
As the bible demonstrates, the common denominator between all God’s chosen ones is a prolonged period of trial and tribulations. It was during their trials that God molded them into the person he created them to be.
Why should it be any different for you and I??
Unfortunately during tough times our default mindset is to believe God is angry or displeased with us for some reason or another. We instinctively believe God has abandoned us because of a particular failing.
Am I making sense to you? – those moments when you feel as though God is nowhere near you let alone at peace with you!
But the reality is he not only loves you as much as he always has but is right there with you.
I recall spending a particularly painful few weeks in Lagos, Nigeria during a summer holiday many years ago. I was at boarding school in the UK at the time, and my end-of-term report was a bit of a stinker. My late father was particularly irked by a comment in my housemaster’s report – ‘If Segun spent half the time on his books as he does in the girls common rooms he would do extremely well’. As I’m sure you can imagine, he wasn’t best pleased – “Did I send you to England to chase girls???”.
Needless to say, as a result of being grounded for three weeks, that particular holiday was not only excruciatingly boring, but my dad gave me the silent treatment throughout. The only words he spoke to me during those three weeks were, “Have you studied today?”. To make matters worse, I couldn’t be sure he would allow me to return to the UK. And that would have been an absolute disaster for a fifteen-year-old who was hopelessly ‘in-love’ with his girlfriend (who resided in the UK).
Thankfully, he allowed me to continue my studies in the UK. But I will never forget the journey to the airport. Dad did not say a word to me until we arrived at the airport – “Segun, I am very disappointed in your right now. If I do not see a big improvement in your studies, I will bring you back for good.”
That was all he said. In-fact, he was so upset that he didn’t even enter the airport with me! Rather, he simply asked an aid to assist me with checking-in.
Fast forward a couple of hours, and there I am being harassed by a couple of immigration officers, just as I’m about to board my flight. For those of you not familiar with the perils of travelling during the days of military governments, it was customary for immigration officers to harass innocent passengers to the point of reducing them to gibbering wrecks. So, there I was, getting mangled by two immigration officers who claimed my passport was fake, and literally on the verge of tears, when along came dad – out of nowhere! He approached the two immigration officers, took a card out of his pocket and said a few words to them. Within seconds, the two officers were apologising to him before turning to me to do likewise.
I was shocked. I thought dad had already gone back home. After-all, he didn’t even come out of the car! Little did I realise he had been watching over me from afar. He had never left me.
Once the fracas was over, dad smiled at me, waved goodbye, turned around, and made his way towards the exit. A mixed bag of emotions took-over me as I watched my hero disappear into the distance – remorse, love and gratitude.
Despite the fact he wasn’t best pleased with my lackadaisical attitude at school, his love remained the same. His care for me never waned; and as a result, although I didn’t realise, he had been with me every step of the way.
I never got another bad school report.
My late father was merely human.
God is…well…he’s God; and he is perfect in love.
There will be times when he seems aloof and distant, as a result of the devil tricking you into believing he is angry.
When such times occur, remember this verse;
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Romans 5 vs 1
Because of what Jesus has already done for you, and as a result of the price he has already paid, there is no need to fear God is upset. Yes, there will be times when he allows you to journey through tough times, but always remember;
Through Jesus, he loves you dearly.
Through Jesus he is always pleased with you.
And through Jesus he is forever at peace with you.