Put your trust in Jesus Christ

Reflections from the Pulpit

Posted 10/27/22

God sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. All we need to do is believe that He is who He said...

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Put your trust in Jesus Christ

Reflections from the Pulpit

Posted

Good day, Okeechobee! I have some great news for you - We are all sinners and fall short of our glorious God, but God made a way for us to be fully justified in His eyes.

God sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. All we need to do is believe that He is who He said He is, and that He came, was sinless, died and was resurrected for our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Once we do this, we become heirs to God’s kingdom in heaven for eternity. How awesome is that?

Did you also know that when you put your trust in Jesus Christ, that life on this earth will magically become wonderful, awesome, all joy, and you will have no more troubles, trials, or temptations? I hope not! In fact, God’s word says that we will most definitely have trouble. John 16:33a: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.” God’s word also says you will most definitely have trials. 1 Peter 4:12: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Anyone that tells you otherwise is either intentionally or unintentionally misleading you.

So why trials? Why troubles? God can certainly remove all these unpleasantries to anyone He wishes. The answer is obvious. We all know that no good father can expect his child to become equipped to deal with a world full of sin without being trained. Every person becomes stronger, more equipped, and better able to combat battles of any kind by actually fighting battles, by dealing with adversity, by overcoming circumstances. The writer of Hebrews shed light on this issue.

Hebrews 12:7-11: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined — and everyone undergoes discipline — then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Imagine that. The Creator of all things is mindful of you as one of His legitimate children. He Loves us so much that He cares enough to be involved in raising us to be mature.

How do we mature? James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, (a) whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James, the brother of Jesus, clearly says we mature as our faith is tested. This produces perseverance so our faith will grow. 1 Peter 1:6-7: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Both James and Peter say rejoice or be joyful in grief and trials. Wow, that’s not easy! How do we do that? Well, we do that by realizing that God is allowing these things to happen so we can grow in faith, and in relationship with Him. These things should make us happy and cause us to rejoice and find joy.

Now this doesn’t mean we don’t mourn, or feel sad, or feel pain. It simply means that we can find peace and comfort in knowing that there is a purpose for it; that God is mindful of it. And as we grow in relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we will be okay . . . that the one and only true God is with us. Beyond that, one day we will magically have a life that unfathomably wonderful, where we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Romans 8:17-18: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Jesus, trials, trust, grief, peace

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