In his book Muscular Faith, author and campus pastor Ben Patterson writes, “When circumstances aren’t as agreeable as I want them to be, I practice a little spiritual discipline that has managed to feed my hope and keep me in joy, nevertheless. I have a long version and a short version: Someone will ask me how I am, and I’ll answer, ‘Other than the fact that all my sins are forgiven and that I’m going to live in heaven eternally in the joy of God, I’m not doing too well.’ The look on the questioner’s face always amuses me. That, and the little irony of saying I’m not doing too well in the face of such magnificent prospects, usually lifts the cloud a bit. That’s the long version. The short version is simply to answer, ‘I’m fundamentally sound.’ I may be superficially bummed out, sad, frustrated, angry—whatever!—but that’s the worst I can say about it; it is surface only.”
“Fundamentally sound” is indeed a great way to describe the Christian’s condition. The Christian may experience loss, change, upset, and set back, but when you step behind and scratch beneath that, things are fundamentally sound. Whatever life takes or time steals, it does not rob them of their spiritual blessings in Christ. Essentially, the Christian’s life is unassailable.
In the opening of Peter’s first letter, the apostle begins with a recital of the blessings enjoyed by God’s redeemed children (1 Peter 1:3–5). Peter reminds his readers living in this temporary and troubled world that through the death and resurrection of Christ, God has brought them to a state of new birth. The result of being born again is that they have acquired an eternal inheritance reserved in heaven. It is an inheritance in Christ that can never perish, spoil, or fade. What the saint of God has in Christ is something that remains and is untouched by decay, unstained by evil, and unimpaired by time. Through faith in Christ, the Christian has been granted a brand new life and has everything to live for, including a bright future in heaven.
Life may pilfer from us friends and family, health and wealth, but that which is most essential and wonderful remains unsoiled and unspoiled. The implication of Peter’s words is that you and I have a guaranteed future in Christ. We have a spiritual trust fund that no one can touch. All the things that are really worth living for and dying with are locked safely away in heaven’s vault. No one can separate us from the love of God. Nothing can rob us of His forgiveness. No one can take His Holy Spirit from us. Nothing can reverse our deliverance from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. No one can tamper with our justification and adoption. Our relationship with God and our riches in God are never at risk. “Safe and sound” is a good description of a Christian’s life and lot!