Are you right with God? Do you know for sure? Do you feel it? Do you rejoice in the knowledge of it? Does it shape the way you wade through the waters of life? Or do you wonder if you're right with God? Do you struggle with doubts and fears about the state of your soul? Do you look at your way of life, and secretly wonder how God could not be nauseated by you, let alone love you?
I've been hearing a popular song on the radio lately. One of the lines asks God, "What do you see that's worth looking our way." As I pondered that line, I came to one answer. The answer filled my heart with joyful-hope. The reason the answer filled me with joyful-hope had nothing to do with my circumstances, obedience, faith or faithfulness. It had nothing to do with how long I prayed this morning. It had nothing to do with how well I'd treated my wife today. It had nothing to do with how I overcame the latest round of temptation. It had nothing to do with my health or wealth.
There's only one right answer to that song's question. If you get this answer right, you'll have joyful-hope - basking in the light of God's covenant love. If you get this answer wrong, you'll be prone to fearful-doubt - cringing at the thought of God's presence. The right answer to the question, "What do you see that's worth looking our way?" is "Christ."
I wonder how many people think of their own faithfulness when that question is asked. I wonder how many people have deluded themselves into thinking God is better off for having them around. I wonder how many have actually convinced themselves they're pretty valuable. I wonder if anyone actually believes that he is faithful to God.
Unfortunately, I suspect there are many people who believe just those things. But even in the midst of their feeling so good about themselves, I doubt they bask in the light of God's covenant-love. There's only way that anyone can feel God's love. They have to feel that God accepts them - that he wants them. The only means by which God can accept anyone is if they are holy as he is - perfect.
I was filled with joyful-hope today because one righteous life is all it took for me to bask in God's covenant love. I felt God's pleasure in me. In my heart, I could hear him singing over me with delight. I knew God is for me. He accepts me. He likes me. He loves me. He will always love me whether I pray today, or skip it. Whether I give today, or keep it. Whether I love today, or sleep. There has only been one righteous life lived on this earth. The righteous life that Jesus Christ lived - culminating in his sacrificial death on the cross, and his glorious resurrection - is the only hope for my sinful soul. On my best day, I am absolutely worthless. I'll get God's attention, all right. But it won't be because I'm beautiful. It will be because I'm spitting at him from a distance. But Christ loved God in my place. He lived the life I should have, but couldn't. And he took my spit on the cross. This Thanksgiving season, I'm supremely thankful for the one righteous life that covers so many worthless ones.