Christ. The Sweetest Thing.
Among the sour patches of life we all hope to cultivate or stumble upon at times, sweetness: a call from an old friend, a few extra dollars in the bank, a compliment on a job well done, an occasional vacation or a break from commonplace, and ultimately, we hope that it will all get better. Whether it’s our health or the health of a loved one, a longing to enjoy the rhythms of your life, or the perpetual feeling that you will always owe more than you have to pay or give. We all hope our sour patches will turn sweet and stay that way. We toss around words like hope, faith, and peace in contexts that may be truly relevant for us: “I’m hoping to hear that I got the job,” “I have peace with the condition of my health,” “I have faith that my kids will remember the things I’ve taught them.” We say these things so casually that words lose their power or even worse, the light of the One who has already fulfilled that hope, faith and peace slowly fades in our hearts.
Deep desires like hope, faith and peace are etched within the fabric of the human soul. We cannot shake our desire for these things.
This advent series has reminded me that Christ alone is my hope, faith and peace.
As an optimist, I am so guilty of hoping in my circumstances and the people around me to change. And as an optimist, I also don’t believe there is anything wrong with believing the best about people and circumstances. Here’s the danger: separating the people and the circumstances from my hope in Christ alone. Because Christ has promised that if I love Him, He will work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28) and return for me for the life to come (1 John 2:25), I don’t have to fear any circumstance or person in this life or the life to come. This frees me up to hope for my good and God’s will in my circumstances and with the people in my life.
The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction (or evidence) of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the foundation of everything for the Christian. Without it, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). And without faith, how could any believer ever experience joy in Christ?! Imagine, if we don’t have faith to believe that everything Christ has said and done is true, there would be no hope, no peace, no salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). I cannot will myself to make my life better. I must have faith that God has already provided the best life to me through Christ.
God’s revelation about peace has probably stuck with me the most this advent season. Christ came to bring a sword, not peace (Matthew 10:34). Say Whaaaaaat?! Yes! It’s there. The peace that he brings is between God and me. Because of His sacrifice my sin no longer alienates me from God. Sure, he still hates my sin, but I have peace with God because Christ purchased it. The only reason I can have any peace in the day-to-day nuances of my life is because ultimate peace has been won for me!
Romans 5:1 says that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Any other need for peace pales in comparison to the ultimate peace we have in Christ coming, dying and coming again for those who trust in Him.
Christ came so that we could set all of our hope, faith and peace on Him(2 Corinthians 1:10). He never intended other people or circumstances to be the sources of sweetness in life. He always intended He would be the one we savor. I hope you are challenged this Advent season to do this more and more because he is coming again for those who do.