Most Americans do not know that Utah celebrates two independence days. (Imagine the fireworks!) The first is the Fourth of July, but the second is the 24th of July.  It was July 24th of 1847 that Brigham Young and his followers reached the Great Salt Lake Basin and pronounced that it was essentially the promised land for the Mormons.  Young, who himself was very ill with “mountain fever,” looked across the valley and said, “It is enough. This is the right place.”

This makes me consider our plight in life. We’re always seeking a promised land of sorts, free from pain, discomfort, drama, sorrow and so on, and we never seem to find that rest. God’s Word, the Bible, makes it clear that outside of Jesus, we have no hope whatsoever for the peace our weary souls long for.

I even submit that Heaven is not our objective.  As wonderful as it will be, our objective is actually a person – Jesus Himself.  He is our rest. He is our comfort.  He is our hope.  

Jesus is our Lord and our God.

We can say all this with great confidence because Jesus made a way for us to enjoy peace with God. Our selfishness, pride, jealously, malice, all our sins made us only worthy of God’s wrath.  But Jesus, God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, justified us by his grace by redeeming us – literally paying the penalty we owed – so that we can have true freedom.  “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and [all who believe] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by this blood to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:22, 23-25a emphasis mine)

The truth is this – there is no rest outside of Jesus. America can’t give us peace. Not even the Great Salt Lake Basin. Jesus must be the object of our affection, our “promised land.” Only Jesus is enough. The right place is in Jesus. Our home – our true home – is in Christ. Alone.

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