Regardless of our race, religion, age, or background, we all long for peace. Our hearts cry out for that blessed assurance that all is well between us and our Maker. Where, though, do we find this peace? Is it possible for our hearts to really be at rest?
For many years, I had no real peace with God. The thought of dying scared me to death!! An unexplainable uneasiness permeated my soul. Instead of experiencing the abundant life, I lived a defeated life. Instead of faith, there was fear. Instead of assurance, there was anxiety. Instead of calmness, there was confusion. Until I discovered what I want to share with you…it really is possible to have peace with God.
The first thing we have to understand is that there is a God in heaven who loves us and wants to give us peace. The Bible says, “The LORD will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11, NKJV). So get that in your mind…God loves you, and He wants to give you peace.
The problem is that we have all sinned. That is, we have all broken God’s law. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NKJV). Sin separates us from a holy God. Sin drives a wedge between us and Him. And since God is the One who gives us peace, sin separates us from the Source of our peace…God Himself.
So if the sin could be dealt with, we could have peace. But how can the sin be dealt with? Well, the Bible says that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, NKJV). In other words, our sins must be paid for, and the payment is death. That is bad news, but the good news is that Jesus Christ has already paid for our sins. He died on the cross on our behalf. The Bible describes it this way: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (I Peter 3:18, NKJV). Think of that. Jesus paid for your sins by dying on the cross and then God the Father brought Him back to life again. The resurrection of Jesus signifies that God the Father accepted the death of His Son as the full payment for our sins. Praise the Lord!! Our sins have been paid for!!
But in order for Christ’s death on the cross to do us any good, we have to respond appropriately. Suppose I called you and said, “Today I went to the car dealer and bought you a new car. The car is parked in my driveway. You can come and pick it up at any time.” Well, in that scenario, your car has been paid for but it’s not actually yours until you come by and pick it up. Our salvation is like that. Jesus has purchased it, but we must receive it. The only question is, “How?”
There are 2 steps involved in receiving Christ. The first step is called repentance. To repent means to change. In other words, we must confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us and to help us change our ways. When we repent we are turning from our sins and turning to God. It is not that we are promising God that we will do better but that we are seeking His forgiveness for where we have done wrong and seeking His help in the future. We are leaving our sins behind.
No one can be saved without repentance. It is the first word of salvation. When Jesus began His public ministry, He preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17, NKJV). He later said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 3:13, NKJV). If you do not have peace with God, you need to ask yourself if you have ever truly repented of your sins. Has there ever been a genuine sorrow over your sins and a desire to be cleansed? If not, you have never repented and you are not saved. The Bible says that “godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (II Corinthians 7:10, NKJV). I encourage you to think about your sins, confess your sins, forsake your sins, and be forgiven. The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV).
The second step to receiving Christ is called faith. That’s why the Bible describes salvation as “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, NKJV). Now what does it mean to have faith in Jesus? It means a great deal more than simply believing that Jesus lived, died, and rose again. In the Bible, it is one thing to believe about Jesus and another thing to believe in Jesus. To believe in Jesus simply means to trust in Him. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV, emphasis mine).
The way to place your faith in Jesus is to repent of your sins, invite Jesus to come into your heart, and then trust Him to save you. That is the key…you have to trust Jesus to do what you have asked Him to do.
I used to invite Jesus into my heart all the time and yet I never had any peace. I could not understand my problem until God showed me that the very fact that I was inviting Jesus into my heart all the time was an indication that I really had not trusted Jesus to do what I had asked Him to do. My testimony is this: My life changed when I prayed one night and said, “Jesus, I have repented of my sins. I have asked You to save me. I now trust you to do what I have asked You to do.” When I started trusting Jesus, my life changed. Peace flooded my soul.
That’s when I learned a wonderful Bible lesson: peace is a result of trusting Jesus. The Bible tells us, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, NKJV).
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. I repent of my sins. I ask You to save me. And I trust You, Jesus,to do what I have asked You to do. I trust You to save me.
In Your Name I pray,
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you, and God saved you. The Bible says that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13, NKJV). Welcome to the family of God. I encourage you to begin walking each day with God. Read your Bible daily as well and be sure to get involved in a good church where God’s Word is taught.