Peace and Joy
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (NIV)
To the Believer, it is my hope that our joys from the past year (2013) were so complete that we have a “storehouse filled with joy to bring into this New Year of 2014, and will share our joys with others!
We enter this New Year with the peace of God. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Joy to the Believer is not dictated by what is happening in the world around us, or in our immediate circumstances. It may even appear that we are not being realistic about our situations. It may also appear to some that we are just “plain crazy”! Because we are enabled by God, to continuously experience and display joy in the middle of calamity, that’s where “fear turns to faith”. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18. When we give our life-issues over to God daily, it’s because we know his track record— that He has always been faithful to us. “So do not fear, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10. That’s how we are able to experience his joy, peace, love, and mercy.
Will this New Year, 2014, add to your joys? Look around you, through the eyes of faith each day! John 14:12 says this, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Happy New Year!
Reverend Glenda Brunson
(Reprint from January 2012)