How do you feel? A part of the mission of the Lord’s church is to make people feel good.  I’m not so much referring to people not being physically sick, though that frequently is a side-benefit, but feeling good about themselves, which would be God’s desire for all.  Some mistakenly pursue the feeling of well-being through fleshly pursuits—alcohol, drugs, prosperity, pleasure, etc.  Some try to convince themselves of their worthiness by adopting the “I’m okay, you’re okay, everybody’s okay” philosophy.  Inevitably, all such routes eventually prove to be “dead end streets”—literally dead (Romans 6:23). 

      Because of our situation, we need to feel bad before we can feel good.  By this I mean that the Bible teaches that “there is none righteous, no not one…all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 21).  Do you not feel bad about that? God’s intention in our creation was not that we be laden with the guilt of sin.  Until we recognize our desperate need for the “balm in Gilead” to heal our sin-sick souls (Jeremiah 8:22), we will not seek the Great Physician.  Satan deals in spiritual quackery, offering supposed cures that will not heal. 

      The universal malady of sin is not cured by anything the world offers.  Only the pure blood of Heaven’s Lamb could possibly eradicate the sin-disease.  Paul assured the Roman Christians with these words: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Rom. 3:24-25).  These are those who, through penitent faith in Christ, are “baptized into Christ…(and) into his death”, and then raised from the watery grave of baptism to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:1-4), thus being enabled to truly feel good about themselves.  

     Salvation is the aim, and happiness is the result, regardless of unhappy circumstances in one’s life.  In Christ, we can truly “feel good,” not through pride, but through trusting the grace of God available to us in Christ.  It is truly liberating when we can declare by faith, with Isaiah–speaking some 700 years before Christ, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).                 

–Ron Bartanen is a retired preacher, living in Milton, FL