“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, according to his great mercy, has caused us to be born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  1 Pet 1:3

Being a Christian is not just about having eternal life. I don’t mean to minimize that inexpressible gift, but I want to highlight how belonging to the family of God makes a difference while we are in this earthly, natural body.

Imagine for a moment what it would mean in your life and mine if our relationship with God were different.  You do realize that everyone has a relationship with God.  You are either an enemy of God or a friend of God.  This is no ‘either-or fallacy’.  Those truly are the only two choices. Friends of God enjoy significant benefits during their 80 + years.

Once God has reconciled us to Him through faith (that is: knowing, believing and relying on His work at the cross), the benefits kick in. To appreciate what they are, let’s look at the life of someone who does not belong to God, someone who has not been born into a living hope.

  • He has no over-arching purpose in life that is bigger than him.  Life is just what he makes it.  He creates his own meaning.  But this imaginary meaning is meaningless because it is not anchored in any reality.  It cannot be anything other than wishful thinking.
  • When troubles, violence, pain come, he has no way of making any sense of them.  He is at the mercy of all that may upset his fragile life and harm those whom he loves.
  • By the time he has launched his family and is on the other side of the career curve, he begins to ask himself, “is this it? …so now I just look forward to retirement and then death?”
  • The above point applies only to those who are honest.  Most people push those hard questions away and fill their lives with  ‘stuff’ or ‘experiences’ or a new relationship, trying to generate some ‘joie de vivre’
  • He has nothing and nobody but himself to rely on in the final analysis.  An honest enemy of God lives with existential loneliness.
  • He has no access to any supernatural power.  He is left to battle sin in his own flesh.  Psalm 16: 3-4 quotes God as saying,

“As for the godly (the saints) who are in the land, they are the excellent, the noble, and the glorious, in whom is all my delight.  Their sorrows shall be multiplied who choose another god; their drink offerings of blood will I not offer or take their names upon my lips.”

I can’t imagine anything worse than to have God deliberately choose to remove himself from my life.


As adopted children of God, however, we are blessed more than we realize.  Here are a few privileges of belonging to God’s family:

  • We have access to EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ  (Eph 1:3)
  • We have been given fullness in Christ  ( we don’t lack anything)  (Col 2: 19)
  • All the promises of God are a resounding “Yes!” in Christ (they are available to us)  (2 Cor 1:20)
  • We can ask for wisdom when we need it (James 1:5)
  • We have already been given GRACE, PEACE with God and everything we need for life and for godliness (2 Pet 1: 2, 3)

The list could go on and on.  But what I treasure is an understanding of the purpose of life, how to make sense of life.  Life delivers hard, painful blows (Jesus even promises this) but we know that nothing happens without God allowing it.  His Word tells us that He uses all our experiences, bringing out of them good for us (and others) and glory for Himself.  I can trust God.  I don’t have to understand why things happen, but I know WHO is in charge and that He is trustworthy.

Furthermore, the fact that average earthly life of 3 score and 10 years of is just a blip compared with the REST of unending life with God in a different dimension  both anchors me and fills me with joyful anticipation.  The best is yet to be.