A gospel foundation in the next generation happens when the adults in their life are intentional about living out the gospel. We pray that the next generation can observe God’s Good News within us and that we can articulate God’s great love toward us. His great love not only drives us toward repentance, but it also changes how we live and interact with the world around us.
Peace With God
Of everybody you could hope to be at peace with, God must be at the top of the list. He’s the one with total power. He created us, and He could do whatever He willed with us. He also knows everything about us, including the ways we’ve gone against His will for our lives.
Throughout human history, being at peace with God has been a concern central to the human condition. Until recently, natural disasters were so seemingly random and unexplainable that the common response to an ill-placed bolt of lightning would be total fear and awe of some god.
Although their scientific knowledge was lacking, people in centuries past understood — perhaps more strongly than today — that we are ultimately at the mercy of a higher power.
From the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, man has opposed the will of God and, in doing so, put himself at odds with his Creator. Even today, many of us wonder at times if troubling events in our lives are a result of this war we can’t help but wage against God’s authority over our lives. The truth is, we live in a world broken by sin. Our troubles might not be the direct result of our own sin, but the state of this fallen world is the natural result of all sin.
What ought a country do when it’s fighting a war it cannot win? Surrender. Call for a ceasefire. Make concessions. Assimilate; make peace. This is what individual people ought to do before God: lay their lives down and accept His will.
The Good News of the Christian faith is that we do not surrender to a vengeful enemy. We submit to a God who has a character of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Romans 5:1 reads, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It’s “just as if I’d never sinned” when I put my faith in Jesus Christ, who makes us right with God once and for all.
By disobeying Him, we treated our God like an enemy. But He’s wanted the best for us from the very beginning. And what’s best for us is our unity with Him in the spiritual battle that wages on, and then to live in His presence in heaven forever. Peace with God begins with faith in Jesus Christ.
Glory Through Our Sufferings
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
— Romans 5:3-4
Hold on, did we read that right? As followers of Jesus Christ, we should glory (rejoice proudly) in our sufferings? Easier said than done!
But Paul explains what he means. Suffering in the name of Jesus produces perseverance, which in turn improves our character. From our good character comes hope, and hope in Jesus is certain. This type of hope takes our eyes off of earthly pain and earthly gain, and turns our eyes to what matters infinitely more: our eternity and the eternities of others.
“I never really knew that God was all I needed until he was literally all I had.”
– Corrie Ten Boom
It’s through our lowest points that many Christians have come to their greatest reliance on God. Maybe you have an example in your own life of when your suffering actually brought you closer to your God.
We suffer because of our separation from God, but if we did not experience pain and discomfort, we would perhaps not be compelled to seek salvation and true joy and love in Christ.
But we do not suffer alone. Paul says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:6-8
Our God suffered on our behalf so that our suffering could end as we are justified and saved by faith in Jesus. Because of Him, death has lost its sting!
MLN Podcast // Make This Summer Count // Diego Fua
Christmas: Love Came Down // Part 2: Peace // T Lusk