Faith, Hope, Joy, All Wrapped Up in Love!

The Advent season emphasizes the virtues of hope, joy, faith, and peace – all wrapped up in the love God poured on us through the birth of the Christ Child. One scripture puts all of this in context:

Therefore, since we have been justified [that is, acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God] by faith, [let us grasp the fact that] we have peace with God [and the joy of reconciliation with Him] through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 2 Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power].Romans 5:1-2 (AMP)

Written in the magnificent way the Apostle Paul was able to describe "all the fulness of the godhead bodily" – we see that our entry into this kingdom life begins with accepting by faith the finished work of the cross. It begins with allowing God to eradicate the bill our sin cost, with a receipt marking the penalty paid in full. This allows us to have peace with God and enables us to experience the joy that comes in knowing we have someone on our side.

It doesn’t stop there however. This entry into our new life provides access into an environment of grace whereby we can rest in knowing that our faults and failures won’t affect our journey with Christ; rather we can have the calm assurance that the grace of God works in us to keep us from falling and picking us up if we fall. How is all of this possible? The only insurance packet that has any validity is found in John 3:16. We can stand in this grace because He loves us. 

And so we start by faith, we continue by faith, walking ever closer to faith. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are no super heroes who can put on a cape and they are good to go. After entering into this grace by faith – we will never know how the next destination of our journey will go, we only know who will take us there;

20 I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (AMP)