3 Benefits of Being a Christian in This Life – Hope, Love, Peace

Published: 24th April 2009
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One thing that is often overlooked is the value of being a Christian and living the Christian life in the here and now, not just for the benefit of the afterlife to come. There is nothing as important as where you are going to live in eternity but there are enormous benefits to living the Christian life aside from those benefits to come when this life has ended. I list but three of those benefits here.



(1) Hope



When one takes hope away from a man or woman what is left? Nothing! I doubt there has ever been a suicide committed by anyone who had not first lost all hope unless that person was under the influence of drugs. The very worse thing about visiting in a nursing home is knowing so many of those people know they have no hope of getting better and getting to go home, knowing they know their situation is hopeless and too often knowing know one cares much. As long as a man has some hope he can continue to put one foot in front of the other and go on in life. It becomes a real struggle once hope is lost.



Being a Christian gives one hope. When the dark days of old age arrive, when one's spouse has gone on, and it is certain death cannot be far off hope is needed. We sometimes think as young and middle aged people that old age is some how not life. It has little to nothing to do with us and old people are kind of seen as living in another dimension, in a sort of twilight zone. But, the reality is that old age is life, a part of life you will see up close and personal (assuming you live that long) and when you get there you will know about the need for hope.



"But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus." (1 Thess. 4:13-14 NKJV) The Christian lives "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began." (Titus 1:2 NKJV) When one grows old one needs this hope. When one grows old and is facing the reality of the inevitable the non-Christian has no hope. He ought to have fear but "the fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalms 14:1 NKJV)



But, hope is also a Christian blessing for those younger in life. We struggle in life often times and face sorrow and disappointments but when our hope is in God we can believe that he will be with us and see us through the tough spots. Our hope is in God whom we believe and know from the scriptures loves us. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28 NKJV) We can believe that even though things are hard in our life God will work it out for us if we will be faithful. Remember Job?



The Hebrew writer tells us as Christians that "He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may bold say: 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Heb. 13:5-6 NKJV) Here is the promise and the hope we have that God will not leave us - a Christian hope, blessing, and comfort.



There has never been a faithful Christian but what found hope and comfort in prayer. We know he will hear our prayers, if we are living faithfully, and that gives us strength. The writer of Proverbs said the prayer of the upright is God's delight (Prov. 15:8 NKJV). The Lord "hears the prayer of the righteous." (Prov. 15:29)



Paul says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

(Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)



With God there is hope, hope enough to keep us going and hope enough that we will not quit or give up, but what about those who are not Christians? Where is their hope? Where is their comfort and peace of mind? Where is their hope that God will be with them? Where is their hope that all things will eventually work out for their good?



Hope allows the Christian to not become bitter at life but rather have a long term optimistic outlook. The darkness of the moment will pass and the sunshine will return. The Christian believes this for he has hope and hope in the Bible means confident expectation, not an iffy "I hope so" the way we speak today. "Hope does not disappoint." (Rom. 5:5 NKJV) It is the "anchor of the soul." (Heb. 6:19 NKJV)



(2) Love



When one becomes a Christian out of sincerity of heart in gospel obedience he can know that as a child of God that God loves him in a special way. Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14:23 NKJV) God no where makes that promise to one who does not keep his word, to the non-Christian.



Which makes us happier - love or hate? If you are hated by another you know you can expect no good thing but only evil and harm. Hatred drives away peace of mind and serenity. Love brings joy, happiness, peace, and comfort.



As a Christian one enters into a realm of love not only with the Father and Son but also with a community of faithful believers - the local church. When one enters the church it is much like entering one's home. It is a haven from ill will directed toward you. The people there will love you, help you, be concerned about you, lift you up and not drag you down. You can know you are among friends, people who only wish you well and no harm, people who will help you in your time of need if only you will open up to them and share your life with them.



That is rarely the case out in the work a day world. There is always someone it seems who lives off giving you a hard time. It is all too often dog eat dog and often, at its very best, the most you can hope for is indifference toward you, your live, and your needs. In Christ, as a Christian, one finds love not only from God but from brethren who love you and care about you. Knowing people do care and will help allows us to live a richer and happier life than those who do not experience this kind of fellowship. You have people you can depend on.



Christians who are what they ought to be try to practice their faith which means "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Eph. 4:31 NKJV) Peter says we are to have compassion for one another, love as brothers, we are to be tenderhearted, and courteous (1 Peter 3:8). That is what one finds when one finds a group of committed Christians - love, compassion, friendship, forgiveness.



"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NKJV)



God loves you, Jesus loves you, your brethren in the Lord love you. This is a blessing available to the Christian in this life and it is a wonderful blessing to have - the love of others.



(3) Peace



What a precious gift! In every life there will be times when heartbreak will come and not just heartbreak but often there will be issues that arise that drive peace away. It may be a job loss, an illness that has struck down a loved one, or any number of things that come and disturb us greatly. When these things come where does the non-Christian go to retrieve peace? They will have to answer for themselves for I do not know.



I do know where the Christian goes - to God and the Bible. Paul spoke of the "comfort of the Scriptures" in Rom. 15:4 and then in the next verse speaks of God as being "the God of patience and comfort." (Rom. 15:5 NKJV see also 2 Cor. 1:3) I wonder how many times the Psalms have been read in search of comfort over the generations. Who could possibly say? There is comfort in the word of God.



There is comfort in prayer. What Christian has not felt better in a time of trouble after praying? None if they prayed in sincerity of heart being committed Christians.



Comfort and peace come from knowing God is with you and the Christian is given that assurance of God's presence over and over again in the scriptures.



I have equated peace with comfort in times of trouble and that is a part of it but there is such a thing as peace itself in normal times when trouble has not made its appearance.

To have a clean conscience, to know you have lived by Christian principles and have not mistreated anyone, is another wonderful blessing, a blessing of peace of mind.



When the Christian does sin, as all men do, he has a way to renew within himself a clean and clear conscience, the opportunity to start over again knowing that with repentance and confession the blood of Jesus will cleanse his sin and make him white as snow again.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NKJV) Where does the non-Christian go to cleanse a guilty conscience? Where can he go? The Christian can find peace.



David, having sinned in the matter of Uriah and Bathsheba, sought forgiveness as revealed in Psalms 51. "Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin." (Psalms 51:1-2 NKJV) Then in verse 10 he says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalms 51:10 NKJV) God was able and God did. He can do the same for the Christian today. Peace is available to the Christian.



Much more could be said. One could write a book on each blessing set forth in this short article and then many more on all of the other blessings that bless the life of a Christian for I have by no means exhausted the list. I hope these, however, will stimulate your thinking. As you read your Bible look for passages on these things - hope, love, peace or comfort. Mark them and get them in mind. It will add much to your way of thinking and to your spiritual life.



The Christian life is not just about the next life but also this life. It can enrich your life here and now. "Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." (1 Tim. 4:8 NKJV)



Visit Denny Smith's web site to read more of his articles and also listen to over 110 audio sermons on many different subjects from "Where Are the Dead?" to "The Weaver's Shuttle," to "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" The audio sermons are by a good friend of his, Waymon Swain. Why not visit his site now dennysmith.net? You are sure to find a sermon topic or article of interest.

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