This past March I stood on the top of a mountain, snowboard strapped to my feet. Not a cloud in the sky, clusters of snow-capped peaks as far as the eye could see. But was I taking it all in with joy?
Nope. I was miserable. My wife and I were halfway through our longest fight ever. Full-on trench warfare: unspoken words, silent treatments, sighs that salted open wounds. It was a gruelling three weeks! Marriage is truly wonderful. Until it’s not. Then, it’s one of the most miserable places on earth, even if you’re on top of a mountain.
The book of Romans speaks of a different kind of alienation that brings unhappiness — separation from a holy and just God who cannot be in relationship with sinners until sin is paid for and forgiven. Alienation from God robs us of the joy He wants to give.
But Christ has made a way for permanent peace with God. Through faith in Him, we have been justified, given a right and secure standing with the Father. God is not trying to keep His distance from us. We have unlimited access to ask Him anything. The conflict is over!
So why avoid God for even one minute? Why give Him the silent treatment or approach Him timidly? When we sin, it may create a sense of alienation from God (and understandably so), but the days of actual separation are over. God is always ready to listen to our repentive prayers and to help us get back on track to where we’ll be full of joy again, even if we find ourselves standing at the bottom of a dark valley.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of forgiveness and right standing with you through the perfect righteousness of your Son. I ask you to cleanse and strengthen me today so I may love you better and walk in the joy you provide. Amen.
Go Deeper — read through Romans Chapter 8 to remind yourself just how forgiven and accepted by God you are.
Read Further — Many greats in the Bible felt “miserable on the mountain.” Read Crushed in Spirit.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bishop