My senior year of high school did not go as I expected. Throughout the year, things I looked forward to started to slip away. Our homecoming football game was flooded out, three beloved faculty members passed away, and the end of a relationship was discouraging. Still, at least I could look forward to the upcoming track season. As it turned out, Covid-19 would ruin those plans, too. I started to ask God why He would take all these good things away from me. In the moment, I didn’t think of how fleeting those things were.
Our God is eternal and perfect. God created the world perfectly, but creation has been broken and corrupted by sin due to the fall. Because of God’s loving nature and His desire for all things to be good, He has promised to make His creation new once again. Revelation 21:5 says, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also, he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”
Over this past year, I’ve been given a desire to see things through an eternal perspective. Seeing my senior year fall through the cracks brought me to the realization that I had been devoting my life to things and experiences of this world that wouldn’t last. I had heard the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19 many times: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,” but I had never really thought about what that meant for my life.
Through God’s grace, we have been welcomed into His family. The work of Jesus Christ has justified us so that we may become a new creation before God. While we are justified, Christ also gave us the Holy Spirit to change us through sanctification. I felt like I had an obligation to do the right thing throughout most of my life to prove that I was a true Christian. I didn’t realize that I had turned righteousness into my work instead of Christ’s work. I’m starting to learn that changing my heart isn’t a matter of trying harder, it’s a matter of letting the Holy Spirit change my heart.
Once the Holy Spirit starts to change our hearts, our desires and actions begin to reflect God’s will instead of our own. As followers of Christ and heirs of heaven, we can see that the things of this world will not last. As a result, God gives us a desire to share the gospel truth with others: Jesus died so that all people may have access to an eternity in God’s presence, restored from our broken state on this earth.
I find encouragement in the words of
II Corinthians 5:17-18: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” May you find your peace and hope not in the things of this world but in the work of Jesus Christ alone.
Kyle Erickson [FLBC, first-year student] is a member of Rose Free Lutheran, Roseau, Minn.