In the messiness of life, it’s hard to feel like words like ‘doctrine’ and ‘justification’ can actually mean something to our hearts.
But the truth is, when you’re sad about being single on a saturday night, when your child stops breathing, when shame overtakes you, or when your spouse and friends fail you – in those moments, the doctrine of justification is the only thing that can help.
It is the foundation for the truths that meet you in the darkness of doubt and pain. Truths like:
1. No one can be against you.
I know that God works all things for my good, but sometimes I believe the lie that there are obstacles that can get in the way of that truth.
For me, it’s the belief that He should let me experience consequences. I hear the lie that God won’t work all things for my good because instead He wants me to teach me a lesson and give me my ‘just desserts’.
But whatever obstacle we think can stand in the way of that truth, the doctrine of justification calls us to look to the Cross and settle it in our minds: God will make sure that everything that happens in our lives happens for us.
He will overcome Satan’s schemes, working through them for your good. Don’t believe me? Look to the Cross. God paid a great price to ensure that Satan’s schemes worked for your good
He will overcome the logic that you should ‘experience consequences’ in order to be for you. Don’t believe me? Look to the Cross. God paid a great price to ensure that the consequences of your sin would turn to work for your good.
He will overcome any anger, impatience, frustration that He feels toward your sin in order to be for you. Don’t believe me? Look to the Cross. God paid a great price to ensure that even HIs anger, impatience and frustration might work for your good.
He will overcome the purposes and actions of your enemies and His Enemy in order to be for you. Don’t believe me? Look to the Cross.
2. No one can condemn you. If God has justified you – if He’s declared you righteous, how could some created being make it otherwise? In fact, if someone seeks to condemn you – whether it’s Satan or yourself or your boss – send them to the throne where they will find Jesus – the one who justified you – standing in His resurrected body, interceding on your behalf even now.
3. No one can separate you from God’s love. If you fear that maybe those things are true on good days, but they waiver on bad days, know this: as long as God loves you, you can count on those truths.
And NOTHING can take His love from you in Christ. Like, nothing.
In fact, every single thing that seems like a threat to His love will only result in it being solidified.
Whatever yesterday brought your way, whatever today brings, and whatever tomorrow holds, hang on to the truth. Not one minute of it will work against you. Not one drop of it contains condemnation. Nothing it throws your way can separate you from God’s love.