Peace with God

There is a certain order of events that you must follow in order to find peace with God.

(1)  You must recognize that there is, in fact, a God.  

This is very difficult for many people.  You can't see Him.  You can't touch Him.  He doesn't have a cell phone number or a webpage.  There is a great deal of debate over whether He created the physical universe.

The only way you can come to understand that there is a God is if He, Himself, chooses to reveal Himself to you.  He will reveal Himself to you if He knows that you will believe in Him.  He will not reveal Himself to you if He knows that you will reject Him and mock His name.  Since He knows everything (and also since He never makes mistakes) He always gets this right.

When God reveals Himself to you, He grants you the gift of faith.  You cannot be saved without faith, but, paradoxically, you cannot get faith for yourself.  The Bible puts it this way:  "For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8, ESV).

The Bible also says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1, ESV).  Faith is believing that things we hope for and cannot see are true.

This is different from just hoping for good things to happen, for wishes to come true.  A person could say, "I have faith that I have a million dollars in the bank."  She could say this even if her account balance was really only $12.67.  She could go out and write a bunch of checks, buying many luxurious and delightful goods and services.  In the end, her checks would bounce and she might even end up in jail.  This is because her "faith" was not really faith.  It was wishful thinking based on a delusion of her own imagining.  There are two things that make this differ from real faith that God grants us...

(a)  Her "faith" was not bestowed by God.  She tried to whomp up some faith by herself.  She decided what she wanted to believe, and set out to believe it, all on her own.  This doesn't work.  This is not true faith.  Remember, faith is the gift of God.  We do not come up with it ourselves.
(b)  Her "faith" was not based on the true promises of God.  God is the truth, and He always speaks the truth.  He always keeps His promises.  His promises are recorded in His word.  If He says He will reward His followers and wipe out evil at the end of time, we can have faith that He will follow through.  He promises to forgive all who repent, to save all who call on His name, and to bless us with His constant, abiding presence in our lives.  These promises are found in His true word.  They are not fantasies that we make up through wishful thinking.  We can imagine fantasies and "believe in" ideas that we would like to have happen, but this is not faith.  Faith is believing that God's character is faithful and true, and that He will keep the promises He has actually made.

Obviously, faith hinges on understanding and believing that there is a God.

At the end of the day, I cannot write a geometric proof to validate the existence of God. (Nor can an atheist write a geometric proof to invalidate the existence of God, but that is a topic for a different day.)  At the end of the day, you will believe that there is a God when God opens your eyes to the truth of His existence.  It may happen all at once in one explosive moment of truth bursting forth in your brain like fireworks.  Or, it may happen slowly, gradually over time, like the sun rising on an overcast morning.  However, it will never happen apart from Him.  And sadly, for some stubborn people it will never happen.

After you recognize that there is a God,

(2)  You must recognize that you have no authority over God;

He has authority over you.

I have seen (1) and (2) combined into one true blurb:  "There is a God.  You are not Him."  This is basic, vital, imperative.

The Bible teaches us that God is loving and good.  We sometimes grasp hold of this idea and think it gives us the right to demand certain types of behavior and responses from God.  Where God is concerned, we have no rights.  We must relinquish our rights and trust Him because He is loving (Psalm 13:5) and good (Psalm 145:9), not because we understand Him.

Here is a scripture passage for you to ponder.

For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen, 

I call you by your name,
    I name you, though you do not know me. 

I am the Lord, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me, 

that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other. 

I form light and create darkness,
    I make well-being and create calamity,
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
    and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
    let the earth cause them both to sprout;
    I the Lord have created it.
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
    a pot among earthen pots! 
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
    or ‘Your work has no handles’? 
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
    or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
 Thus says the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: 
“Ask me of things to come;
    will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? 
I made the earth
    and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host..."
(Isaiah 45:4-12, ESV) 

God has power and authority over us because He made us and everything that surrounds us.

(3)  When you understand that there is a God 

and that He is has authority over you, 

this includes understanding that He made (created) you.

You can read the Genesis account of creation.  You can read Isaiah 45-46.  You can read Psalm 8 and Psalm 104.  You can read John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-17.  You can research evolution and intelligent design and creation science.

You will believe when God puts faith in your heart to believe.  If you balk at the idea that there is a cosmic God who has the right to judge the way you live your life, it will take longer for Him to get faith into you.  Or, He may know that you will never bend your will, and then He may pass you over.

But if you want to find peace, you do have to accept the fact that He made you.  Because the next step in finding peace with Him requires that you understand...

  • He made you.
  • He made you for a specific purpose: to reflect His glory and bring glory to His name.
  • You have failed to complete this purpose . . . 
Don't miss that.  It's important to understand: God made you for a specific purpose, and until you surrender to Him with a heart willing to complete that purpose, you are rebelling against His perfect will and design for your life.

(4)  You must understand that you have failed 

to be what God created you to be.

In theological circles, I believe they call this the doctrine of original sin.  Most evangelism programs start with this point.  The classic Bible verse to illustrate it is Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (ESV)  You can read about how it all started in Genesis 3.

In a nutshell, God created a perfect beautiful garden for Adam and Eve to live in, full of good food and enjoyable things to do, completely free from sin, decay, conflict, pain and weeds.  Satan came along in the form of a serpent and told them they were missing something.  Of course they were. They were missing sin, decay, conflict, pain and weeds.  God's heart was to protect them from evil, but they did not trust His love.  They had to try it out for themselves.  God knew that their greatest joy would be in living for His glory, as He had created them to do.  They thought they'd miss something great if they didn't live for their own glory instead of for God's.  And that's what humanity has been doing ever since.  Everyone thinks that his own way is better than God's way.  Everybody wants his own way.  All have sinned.  All have fallen short of God's glory.

We are not saying that anybody is better than anybody else.  On the contrary, we are saying that no matter how good anyone tries to be, we all fail at our fundamental purpose: bringing glory to the Lord.  And if we fail at our fundamental purpose, the purpose for which God intentionally designed us, then we deserve to be discarded.

You may say that you never asked for any purpose like bringing glory to God, and you don't want to bring glory to God.  That illustrates the point exactly.  When you understand what I am saying here, you will be a few steps closer to finding peace with Him.

So anyway, we failed.  We rebelled against the perfect love of God.  We chose pride and selfishness over the beauty of living according to God's plan, and we deserve to be discarded.  From the outside, if you take a a bird's eye view, it looks like a pretty bad situation.  It looks like humanity is destined to lose the life God offered, and instead attain death and destruction.

(5)  You must hear the good news of the gospel:

Even though you are a worthless failure, 

God has a good plan for you.

"Gospel" means good news.  The gospel is threaded throughout the Bible, but I particularly love how Paul expressed it in Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)...

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.   

 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

My favorite part of this passage is where it says, "But God..."  We were dead, sunk, wasting away in sin without hope or even a vision of how much better life could be.  But God, who is rich in mercy and loves us, reached down to do for us what we were helpless to do for ourselves.

Here, read the same passage again in the NLT translation:   

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.  He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. 

 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.    For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

(6)  You must understand what happened:

Jesus died for your sins.

Jesus died on the cross in your place, suffering the punishment you deserved for your sins.  (Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20)  And then He rose up from the dead, appeared to many people, and afterward went to live in heaven.  Now He sits at the right hand of God, ready to intercede for us and help us until the day when we, too, gain entrance to heaven and God's glorious presence.

(7)  You must understand what it means:

Because of Jesus, you can be forgiven, find peace with God, 

and spend eternity in heaven.

I think the Bible verse that explains it best is  2 Corinthians 5:21...

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Christ. (ESV) 

Jesus carried the weight of our sin.  He was perfect.  He was God in flesh, come to dwell among humankind and show us the love of God perfectly lived out.  He fed people, healed them, taught them, poured out His energy for them.  And then they crucified Him, not because of anything He had done wrong, but because it was God's plan to make His dysfunctional, sinful children (that would be us) functional and perfect.  

 Jesus exchanged His glory for our sin, so that we could be covered in His righteousness and glorify His Father.  

(And of course, the best part of the story is that Jesus, being in very nature God, could not stay in bondage to sin, and so after His suffering, He rose up from the dead to prove His complete victory over the devil!  Now He is in heaven, where all of us who believe in Him will someday live with Him in glory forever!)

But we only get this righteousness from Jesus if we believe, accept, ask.  And we only believe and accept and ask when He gives us the faith to do so.

If you have never found peace with God before and you have read this far, please take time to ask God to grant you the life-generating faith to believe in what He has done for you, to accept this gift, to be made new, clean, useful and perfect in Christ Jesus.

Then email me at  I'll be so happy to hear from you!