People try hard to be truly happy and truly content in their lives. They make every effort to achieve a sense of satisfaction. However, that seems to be a mere emotion that cannot last. In this life, peopleís hard work cannot bring any permanent reward, because, of course, we all must die (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).
We can see, therefore, that real happiness and true satisfaction can only come from God. We can see also that our best efforts cannot achieve these things for us. We can only know real happiness and true satisfaction if God gives us these things as a free gift.
Wicked people can never be truly content (Isaiah 48:22). Therefore the gift that we need from God is a right relationship with him. We are all guilty of wrong and evil deeds (3:23); so we need him to forgive us.
That is the most astonishing change in a personís life (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus described it as a new birth (John 3:3-7). We receive it by faith (trust) in Jesus, who died for us (4:24-25).
Long before the life and death of Jesus, Godís people already knew about that. Abraham had faith (trust) in God; that was how he received his right relationship with God (Romans 4:3 and Genesis 15:6). Similarly, David described the happy state of those people whom God forgives (Romans 4:7-8 and Psalm 32:1-2). They both understood that this relationship with God does not depend on a personís own efforts. It is a gift of God which we receive by faith (trust in God).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.