So here is the question … why does any of this matter? What difference does it make?
I can tell you what difference it has made, is making, and will forever make in my life.
I lived for many decades in fear of God – fear, as in being afraid, not fear in the Biblical sense of reverence and awe. I lived afraid of God – afraid of not being “good enough,” afraid of the punishment that I certainly deserved, afraid that I could never conquer the sinful part of me. And even though I was afraid of God, I still made a pretty good mess of things.
But I have lived the last three decades with this wonderful hope—a certainty that I am betting my life on—that I stand in God’s presence without a single fault. He not only welcomes me, He pursues me and draws me into Him.
This hope, this certainty, changed my life—it gave me freedom. It constantly leads me “behind the curtain.”
Why do I even care about coming into God’s presence and being welcomed and accepted and loved?
Because I believe this is the way we were created to live.
Because it is the only way I want to live.
Because I believe God’s purpose is to make everything new – and living a life of love and worship of the Creator is the only way we will be created anew.
And all of this is essential to my life because … well, as the disciples said to Jesus –“ Where else can we go? You are the one who has the words that give eternal life.” (See John 6:68). This journey on earth is not our real life; we have a far greater life in a realm beyond what we can now see with our eyes. Jesus holds the keys and is the way to that existence.
And… where else can I find hope? The only hope I trust is in the promises of God. I’ve found nothing else that is certain in this world. I trust only the bridges God has laid before me.
So knowing now that I am free to relish and delight in this relationship with my Creator—this is fantastic news! I no longer fear the wrath of God. Jesus provided the way for me to return to a bond of love He has always intended to have with His creation.
And… all the other hopes I’ve built my life upon—everything else we will look at in this series—come to fruition only within this relationship between God and those who love and worship Him.
Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh the joys of those who take refuge in him! (Psalm34:8)
Without that relationship—no, I cannot see any hope in this world. The outlook is quite dreary.
But with God—so much hope.
So much hope.
you have endowed [me] with eternal blessings
and given [me] the joy of your presence.
More words of hope to lead you behind the curtain:
Matthew 27:50-52; Mark 15:37-38; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:6-11, 18; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:12-13; Ephesians 3:12; Colossians 1:19-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 6:18-20; Hebrews 7:19-28; Hebrews 10:19-23; James 4:8; Jude 24.
© Elaine Starner 2015
Photo credit: Claire Pridgeon