God’s plan is to remake us from within

Published 1:52 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: How do we as believers know the joy of Christ when the world is so dark around us, and is this really God’s will for us — to be joyful in spite of what is going around us? – J.Q.

Dear J.Q.: People saw in Jesus a quality of life they had never seen before, and they wanted to experience it for themselves. When they looked at Him they saw joy and peace and kindness — and most of all, they saw God’s love.
God wants to give us that same quality of life — the life of Jesus. Jesus said to His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
God’s plan is to remake us from within. The Bible tells us that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
As humans, we have two great spiritual needs. The first is forgiveness, which God made possible by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins. Our second need, however, is for goodness, which God also made possible by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, which gives us joy.
If we are to live the way God means for us to live… if we are to become more like Christ… if we are to travel our journey wisely, with joy, then we need both God’s forgiveness and goodness. We need the work of Christ to change us, and we need the work of the Holy Spirit in us. To the great gift of forgiveness, God adds the great gift of His own Spirit. As someone wisely said, “I need Jesus Christ for my eternal life and the Holy Spirit of God for my internal life.”
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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