The tension of this new life
It would be easy to end this story here, and to leave you with the impression that everything is fine now. Isn’t that the typical Christian testimony? “This bad thing happened, God intervened, and now everything is fine – praise God, hallelujah, the end.” The problem is that it is not the end. In the words of the famed radio broadcast journalist Paul Harvey: “And here’s the rest of the story.”
We are still sinners. We still sin. We both act out our selfish desires and defend our positions, believing that we are right. We are both good at it, too! It could easily overwhelm our guilt-ridden hearts if we believed that somehow we are now supposed to get it all right. Many Christians believe that. However, it is not what the Bible teaches. We will always struggle with sin. That is why I need Jesus! That is why you need Jesus! If I could live perfectly, I would not need Christ! The Christian life is not the story of Christ rescuing us from a sinful past and bringing us into a perfect life. It is the story of Christ rescuing us from death and making us alive in him. Our struggle with sin is ongoing while we are on this earth, but now Christ is our defense. His death has saved us from future eternal punishment, and from present guilt and condemnation.
My husband and I still struggle. We make mistakes and then ask for forgiveness. We blame shift, self defend, and then we fall once again into the arms of Jesus who loves us unconditionally.
Happy New Year reveals a deeper longing
As the new year unfolds, I don’t think about the happiness of it all. Instead, what presses on my heart is a deeper longing, a longing for newness. The new year causes me to contemplate what heaven on earth will be like. It causes me to anticipate Christ’s return. We just celebrated God’s incarnation in the birth of his son Jesus. That promised King is coming back again, and he will make all things new and wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4). Let that be our hope for the New Year!
Lori is the Director of Care Ministries and Women’s Support at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. She blogs regularly at lorileighharding.blogspot.com.