What is it like to live in the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God isn’t just about having a secure place to go after we die. Many treat it like a heavenly insurance program. The benefit program starts here on earth. It starts now. In Romans 14:17, Paul outlines three major benefit categories. He writes, “The kingdom of God is…righteous and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The order of these three components matter. They components build on each other. The first component achieves right standing with God. By becoming a member of the Kingdom of God, we have asked God to consider Jesus’ innocent blood as payment for our sins. Jesus’ choice to make this available to us for all eternity still amazes me.
From this position of right standing before God, we can access His peace. The peace of God bypasses all logical understanding. His peace cannot logically be explained. It’s the gift of confidence He gives. He guarantees that He makes all things work together for our good and His glory. This may not seem possible by looking at our circumstances. Yet, by the very fact that God promises this, and through the stories of other people who have weathered horrific things, we come to believe that peace is possible. We learn that His peace will take us beyond our feelings and our interpretation of events. We start to learn and understand His kingly priorities. We align our priorities with His priorities. This brings a living peace.
We gain more peace by studying God’s word in scripture and letting the promises therein become God’s guarantees for us. To name a few…
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“My righteous right hand will uphold you” Isaiah 41:10
“You will rest in safety” Psalm 16:9
“I will be with in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him” Psalm 91:15
After peace, joy follows. Joy must not be confused with happiness. Joy is the underlying confidence we gain from being members of the Kingdom of God. No matter the circumstances, joy lives beneath our emotions like an aquifer level of water. Joy lives beneath the surface of our emotional highs and lows to bring us a steady confidence of God’s commitment to redeem and to restore all things into order for those who call upon His name.