The hard, daily grind of life often causes us to forget the immeasurable riches we have because we are a Christian. As a result, we constantly feel burdened by the obligations that accompany, not just our professional roles, but also our relational ones. I have been reflecting on this in my own journey: I get so easily consumed by my own emotions and worries that I forget the truth of the gospel and its implications for my daily life. Let’s remind ourselves about some of the theological realities that apply to us because we are ‘in Christ’.
1. We have peace with God.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
This is probably the biggest implication of knowing Christ, and yet sadly we often take it for granted. Having peace with God does not guarantee a peaceful life. In fact, the Bible teaches that followers of Christ shouldn’t be surprised when they face various kinds of tribulations. However, peace with God does give us a steadfast assurance that no matter how bad (or good) this life is, our souls are kept secure by our Maker; and that we are destined to be reunited with Him one day.
Having peace with God does not guarantee a peaceful life. But peace with God does give us a steadfast assurance that no matter how bad (or good) this life is, our souls are kept secure by our Maker.
This truth has kept me going through especially difficult days when I feel like nothing is going my way, or when I have failed to find favour with the people I care about. Knowing that God is at peace with me—because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross—has given me the liberation from obsessively trying to please those around me and earn their acceptance. Knowing that God has already lavished His unconditional love upon me has also given me a deep sense of joy as I endeavour to please Him—not out of duty—but out of gratefulness. This in turn, gives me great satisfaction and freedom to love, serve and care for people without being anxious of whether they will love or serve me back. What liberation!
2. We have unfailing companionship.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
I do not doubt that each of us has felt pangs of loneliness. Some feel it when by themselves; others when they are in a roomful of people. When that disconnect or insecurity surfaces most acutely, I feel immeasurably comforted knowing that I am never truly alone and that God’s Spirit dwells in me any time of the day. Having God’s Holy Spirit living in us means that we can be constantly assured of God’s goodness and faithfulness in every situation: in the midst of suffering; or in loneliness; or when we are simply having a bad day at the office.
When I catch myself wallowing in my own thoughts, it gives me great comfort to know that God Himself created me and lives in me. No matter where I am physically, or how I feel emotionally, I am never truly alone.
3. We have a reason to do good works that last into eternity.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Those who are in Christ know that the good works we do are not means to pacify God or bribe him for his favour. Rather, they are the results of a reconciled relationship with Him. The good works we do as Christians were prepared by our good and heavenly Father so that, in doing them, we might glorify His name. If we endeavour to do good works for our own name and glory, it will eventually come to naught as our finite bodies (and names) pass away. But in Christ, every task done in faith; every gospel conversation patiently undertaken; every Sunday spent faithfully serving in church will find its way into God’s growing kingdom. The truth is that nothing done in faith and for the Lord is ever in vain. May it serve as a kind encouragement for us to keep serving faithfully.
The truth is that nothing done in faith and for the Lord is ever in vain.
As I reflect on these truths, my heart has been gladdened that these are not merely words inscribed in the Bible, but theological realities that Christians can live out daily. May we continue to meditate on God’s Word to us, trusting and praying that these truths will produce fruit for His glory.
First published in Salt & Light newsletter