By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (II Peter 1:3-4)
The gospel means good news. Frequently, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, underestimate the riches that God disposes on those who believe.
In Jesus Christ we move from darkness to light—we move from guilt to redemption. We move from doubt to assurance. We have a wonderful eternal destiny that exceeds our imagination. We have riches in our Savior that are beyond measure:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:3,4)
What was the secret of the disciples, the apostle Paul, and many others who built the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ? The disciples had spent at least three years with their Savior. They knew that he was for real. When Saul of Tarsus (Paul) encountered Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus, intending to persecute Christians, his life was transformed. These servants of God endured abuse, prison, and hardships because they knew Christ and his kingdom. We know that Paul was, at times, discouraged, but he was like the psalmists who ask God if he has forgotten them, always ending up praising God for his promises and his goodness.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation; and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.” (Psalm 68:19)
They knew that they were on the edge of God’s eternal kingdom; that they were on the winning team. We think of the person who sees his glass full, not empty. The word of God overflows with good news.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (II Corinthians 2:14)
The believer has the great privilege of being an ambassador for God to a world in need. Our lives are valuable because we belong to God, and because we know that we have eternal life with him forever. We know that he will never fail us nor forsake us.
We live in a time when Christians can grow discouraged. The society that we live in has gone sour with unbelief, fornication, adultery, broken families, hopelessness, violence, and discouragement. Many seek relief in the crummy dramas that are on television. They do not realize that salvation is nearer than they think! We cannot exhaust the goodness, grace, and mercy of our God. Let us bless him, rejoice in him, and delight to do his will. We find in him the life that is life, indeed!