We have discussed frequently in our Engage! forum (ccpueblo.org #Engage!) the issue of what provides evidence that one’s faith is true. We put our faith in lots of things, but how can we know that a particular faith impetus is justified. Our conclusion has been that evidence for “real faith” comes when it objectively produces fruit in our lives. This type of testimonial process is objective evidence that a faith is anchored in an “unseen becomes seen” reality.
As biblical faith gives us answers to and purpose in the activities and questions of life we find perspective and hope. Hope is a testimonial attribute lived out. It is longitudinal in that as we walk day by day and year by year in real faith, our countenance is strengthened by our hope for fulfillment of life. Peace however is a testimonial attribute realized at a point in time. It is vertical, affecting us in real time and in the moment as we relate with the God of real faith.
God’s grace as realized in Christ is seen in that peace comes at any moment a person comes to faith for the first time or as one arrives at maturation of faith points in a persistent faith walk. Whether that point in time is conversion at the end of life (death bed conversion) or repeat experiences along a patient walk, in granting peace God does not take into account where we have been but simply where we are now in our openness to Him. Peace is not a reward it is a reality that comes through the acceptance of who He shares Himself to be or who He actually is in our lives. God’s grace given in the perfect moment simply because He loves us, as and if we accept Him.