I am referring to my family’s experiences in 2021 as a roller coaster ride. We had some wonderful “high” experiences and some deep lows, and they just kept coming one after another all year long! As the year winds down, it seems we are finally rolling into the platform and can take a few minutes to collect ourselves and reflect on the ride.
One thing I realized is that we remained confident God was with us through every dip, rise, and turn. At the moments it felt like all we could do was close our eyes and hold on tight, our trust in Him never wavered. And in the most joyous moments we thanked Him for blessing us far beyond what we deserve. We experienced far more life in and through our circumstances, not despite them. He was with us — holding us, guiding us, protecting us — the whole time. It was quite a ride!
The other day I was reminded of this heartfelt exchange between Jesus and the apostle Peter:
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69, NIV)
What a wonderful verse! And filled with so much truth! My heart sings praise to God when I read it, resonating with Peter’s sentiments and conviction.
To whom shall we go? When things get tough, to whom do we turn? When we have a friendship with God through Jesus Christ, we are connected to the best possible option. No one nor nothing else we can turn to for help and hope can even come close to what He offers! Far more life puts this verse into practice:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8, NIV)
You have the words of eternal life. Who else can offer us eternal life? No one.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
Perhaps one reason this verse is so well-known is because it is stated so simply and clearly. God was motivated by love for us, by a desire to have a relationship with us. He sacrificed the One He loved most to make that possible. We reap the benefit of spiritual life that starts now and lasts for eternity, getting better and better as time goes on. Far more life grows in love from God and love for God as it holds tight to the words He recorded in the Scriptures.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. This sentence is the key. The reason we stick with God is because of who He is. We know who He is because we have experienced His grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, and more firsthand. Jesus is more than a historical figure to us, He is our Lord, Savior, and friend. We have witnessed the fulfillment of His promises. We have followed His instructions for life and found them favorable. We know He is God’s Son by faith and by experience.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, NIV)
Far more life believes in God and is willing to believe in Him when facing challenges. It seeks to see how He keeps His promises and offers praise when it sees Him in action.
Maybe you have had a roller coaster year — or life — as well. I hope you are going to Jesus and finding far more life in Him! (If you are not, invite Him to join you. He welcomes anyone who chooses to go to Him!)
Where do you go for help during the hard times?
Where do you go for celebration during good times?
Do you believe that Jesus has the words of eternal life? If not, what role does Jesus play in your life?
Are you confident that Jesus is the Holy One of God? If not, are you willing to ask God to help you see who He says Jesus is?
If you have found far more life, thank God for it.
Copyright 2021, Shari Damaso