“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The weight loss industry makes over $72 billion a year. And if you’re like me, you might have contributed a bit to that number. Diet after diet promises to melt away the pounds by one means or another – no carbs, or no fat, just bananas or no bananas, counting points, counting calories, or counting steps. It’s a frustrating cycle that seems to make a difference for some, but most simply end up back where they began.
People start diets for many reasons – they’re uncomfortable, embarrassed, in pain, stressed out, facing health problems, or having relational issues. If you’ve had success losing weight, you might attest to the increased energy, concentration, health and healing that comes with it.
When we think about our spiritual well-being, we know that life provides constant challenges that pack on the stress and pressure, threatening to bring us to our knees. We know that this sense of overwhelm can be crushing and effect every area of our life – our health, our relationships, our outlook and effectiveness. We long for something to come and lift all of that weight off of our shoulders. Just like the serial dieter, we might jump from strategy to strategy, finding a little release, but nothing long lasting.
When we attempt to gain peace with God through our works, we find it a treadmill with no clear finish line. I mean really, how good is good enough? Through this paradigm, we struggle to read enough, pray enough, attend, give and volunteer enough so that we can get “close to God.” But it’s only through our faith in Christ that we truly find peace. And there is no close second to the peace that God offers. It is a peace of knowing we can drop the never-ending quest to be “close to God” because our faith brings us into an everlasting fellowship that makes us “in Christ.” You can’t get any closer than “in.” Experiencing the lightness of living by faith, means that we are letting God do all the heavy lifting, and we are freed up to feel like (and be) a whole new person.
*for more on this idea, we recommend the book “Learning to Live and Love Like Jesus” by Brandon Cook
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- What are some stresses or circumstances that are weighing you down?
- How can being “in Christ” bring you peace?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Today’s post is by Jon Price, Associate Pastor