January 01, 2012
The benefits of the Gospel fly high over the promises that any organization offers.
When my husband and I travel, we have a favorite airline that we use whenever possible. The mission statement of this airline is “dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.” During our many flights with this airline, we have always felt they succeeded in attaining this quality of customer service. As a result, we have chosen to fly to airports that this airline serves, even if it means driving a little further to our destination.
While considering the benefits of good customer service during a recent trip, I thought about the satisfaction that God provides. Even companies with excellent customer service may inadvertently cause dissatisfaction from time to time, but God will always give one hundred percent satisfaction when we are faithful to Him. Many have tried to find happiness and contentment in worldly pursuits, only to be disappointed in the end. Nothing can come close to providing the gratification that a relationship with God brings. Just as many companies have handbooks to help their customers fully benefit from their products or service, God has given us the Bible as our “handbook” to discover the benefits He has for those who put their trust and confidence in Him. Let’s consider a few of those benefits.
Our sins are forgiven.
We read in Psalm 103:2-3, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities.” One great benefit is that when a heart is repentant, God promises to forgive every sin, regardless of how significant it may seem. I recently read the testimony of a serial killer, who prayed and received salvation in prison. He said that he will no doubt remain in prison for the rest of his life, but he lives as a free man because of the forgiveness he received from Jesus Christ. In addition to God’s forgiveness, we also read in Micah 7:19, “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” God not only forgives, He completely forgets the sin was ever committed in the first place! What a blessing to know that the moment we were forgiven, our sins were never to be remembered against us again! When the enemy of our soul tries to discourage us by bringing up our past, we are assured that our sins are buried in the “depths of the sea,” and we can move victoriously forward in our walk with God.
He will never leave us.
Experiencing a shattered relationship or losing a loved one often results in painful feelings of abandonment, grief, and loneliness. Although earthly relationships may end for one reason or another, God promises in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” As long as we remain close to God, He will walk beside us in every circumstance of life, not only during times of grief and distress, but also during our day-to-day encounters. The promise Moses gave the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:6 can be ours as well, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” When fear threatens to overwhelm us in the adversities of life, we can find strength and encouragement in knowing that God will never leave or forsake us. His everlasting love and abiding strength will always be there to uphold and comfort us!
He strengthens us in trials.
During times of temptation or adversity, we have the encouraging promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” What a blessing to know that God will not allow anything to come our way that we cannot handle through His strength. And when temptations or difficulties do come, He will carry us through to victory.
We also read in 2 Peter 2:9, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.” Temptations and adversity can be stepping stones to increase our faith and help us grow stronger in our walk with God. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” All of us will go through the trials and temptations of life, but we can victoriously overcome every hurdle that comes our way and in the end, we will be rewarded with the “crown of life” (James 1:12).
He satisfies our longings.
Jesus told the woman at the well, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). While the physical appetite cannot be satisfied for long, the “living water” that Jesus gives will satisfy for a lifetime and beyond. We read in Psalm 107:9, “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” The Hebrew meaning for the word “longing” could be compared to a ravenous beast greedily seeking his prey until he finds it. In the same sense, a hungry heart that fervently seeks God will be satisfied and filled with His goodness. In the world today, the quest for personal satisfaction can lead in many directions, but only those who choose God as their source of contentment and fulfillment will be truly satisfied!
Only those who choose God as their source of contentment and fulfillment will be truly satisfied!
He gives peace in trouble
The quest for peace in our unstable world is a hot topic today. Whether it is peace among nations or peace in the midst of personal adversity, it is yearned for by many who are uncertain and fearful in their present circumstances. Nations may attempt to negotiate peace, and individuals try various means to attain peace of mind. However, God is the only One who can give true peace. His Word assures us that He will afford peace to those who trust in Him.
Jesus promised in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Different from the world, the peace that Jesus gives is an enduring peace that will calm and comfort our hearts at all times. Paul gave the assurance in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Although we live in uncertain and turbulent times, we have God’s promise that He will give peace beyond our comprehension when we put our trust in Christ Jesus.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus gives the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What a comfort to know that when the burdens of life get heavy, we can rely on God to give us peace and rest to calm our anxious souls.
God has many other gratifying benefits for those who trust and obey Him. He gives counsel and guidance through His Word. He is our Healer when we are sick or hurting. He answers our prayers and supplies our every need. Above all, He is preparing a home for us in Heaven, and one day He will take us there to be with Him forever!
Do you feel that you are missing out on some of God’s rewarding benefits? They can be yours today as you seek Him in prayer and search His Word. God wants His followers to enjoy all His wonderful benefits. When we follow His “handbook” and remain fully committed to Him, we will be totally satisfied and contented in this life, while we anticipate everlasting delight throughout eternity.