“You deserve happiness!” At least this is the message that appeared on my teabag container. In the same perspective as the fortune cookie, randomly throwing out feel-good statements might make for a laugh or two with friends, but true statements are often harder to hear.
As we enter another new year, one need only listen to the news to discover that nothing about the actions of humankind is “new.” Depravity is built into the human DNA since the Garden of Eden. Sometimes my heart is so heavy that I yell out loud, God, what is wrong with people? Then, just as quickly as the words come out of my mouth, the Holy Spirit reminds me, that sin is what is wrong with people. Self-inflicted, “sin” is the human scar every person bears.
When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience did not come as a surprise to God. And nothing you or I do today come as a surprise to God. Freewill requires a decision; we either choose obedience or rebellion. There is no compromise. Therefore, God did not compromise when He gave us His very best, His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our rebellious nature. “Repentance” is the word Peter uses to describe the road we each must travel to receive God’s forgiveness. By repenting, we agree with God when He calls us into accountability instead of pleading our case, whatever our excuse may be.
My evening favorite tea ritual is forever changed, because whenever I read, “You deserve happiness!” I am reminded, no, I deserve misery, even death! But in His great mercy and abounding grace, through Jesus, God invites me to share in eternity with Him. God is inviting you too, friend. What do you say?
May you and I find peace with God in 2023!