This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
—Romans 1:17 (NLT)
I’m so thankful I can’t make myself right with God. I can work until I’m blue in the face, and nothing I do makes any difference. If I had to make myself clean enough to be accepted by God, living would become a chore instead of the joy that it is. The Good News tells us how God makes us right. From the beginning until the end, we are made right with God through faith in Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way that a righteous person has life. And it is the only way a person is made righteous.
“Faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ,” Paul wrote (Romans 1:17 (NLT). You believe because you heard the Gospel, and you accepted its truth by faith. Why do you worry if God loves you? Why do you question His faithfulness? You strive to prove that He accepts you. Why do you do that? Nothing you do earns His acceptance. You are accepted by Him when you believe in Him. It is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
When you first spoke your faith to others, you declared that your new life in Jesus was real. You acknowledged your allegiance to Jesus. Without fear of what man thought, you shared the joy of your new life. You believed God loved you. And now? Has life dimmed your joy? Have circumstances shaken the assurance of His love? Do you find yourself trying to win His love back? My friend, He never left you. You allowed life’s problems to get in the way.
“We can rejoice, too,” Paul wrote, “when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:3-5, NLT).
Faith isn’t worth much if praise is not part of it. Without praise, your problems become greater than God’s ability to handle them. You then question His love and wonder if He is angry. You forget that “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 (NLT).
Strength of character develops through perseverance in the face of problems. Endurance fires our faith in Christ. We believe because He is faithful. He earned our salvation. We didn't. We don't trust in our ability but His. Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. This hope never leads to disappointment! When we understand that He has already given us all we need, we learn to live by faith and not by sight! And when we believe, nothing has any power to come against our faith.
Believe, my friend, in the finished work of Jesus for you. Faith will fuel your spirit, mind, and body. Work for Him will be born of faith and not of self. You will know how completely God loves you. He has flooded your heart with the love of the Holy Spirit. Now you know everything has changed. You believe and will never question His love for you again.
©2020 Lynn Lacher