Artist’s concept of Mars Perseverance Rover, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Last week, NASA’s science rover “Perseverance” landed successfully on Mars, to jubilant cheers from scientists back home.

Mission managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab near Los Angeles had been waiting anxiously for confirmation that the craft had landed safely.

Because it takes radio waves 11 minutes to reach Earth from Mars, “Perseverance” had already settled on the surface of the Red Planet by the time news of its safe arrival reached scientists back on Earth. NASA had to endure a nerve-wracking wait before they got the verification.

We encounter this time lag throughout our universe.

The light from our own Sun takes 8 minutes to reach Earth. Light from Pluto takes 5 hours. It takes 8 years for the light from the “Dog Star” Sirius to reach our planet.

This time lag means that with stars extremely distant from us, we’re actually seeing them now as they were thousands of years ago. It takes that long for their light to travel to us.

It sometimes seems as though there’s a similar “time lag” between our brains and our hearts.

Our minds receive the news that once we repent and believe in Jesus’ atoning work on the Cross, our sins are forgiven.

This truth might reach our brains quickly enough, but it seems to take our hearts a while longer to get the message, for it to really sink in down deep in our souls.

We might have an intellectual understanding that God has forgiven us, but often there’s a time lag before our hearts believe and accept it.

So often, we have a hard time believing that God has truly forgiven us when we repent. We might think that God might forgive us later on, once we’ve suffered for our sins a while. We may believe that His forgiveness is grudging or incremental, that we’ll experience it sometime down the line, but not right away.

But friends, there’s no time lag with God’s forgiveness.

When we repent and ask for His forgiveness for our sins, trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, God instantly responds with a “Yes!”

As the creator and master of time, God supersedes time. His forgiveness reaches us instantaneously. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, but God’s love for us travels faster than that!

Image by Melmak from Pixabay

God’s forgiveness at the moment of your salvation is not only instant, but it’s also eternal.

Eternal life is something that is instantly yours when you accept Jesus as your Saviour.

Take note of the verb tenses in the following Bible verses:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” ( John 5:24, italics mine)

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13, italics mine)

Did you catch that? From the moment you accept Christ, you already have eternal life. The forgiveness that affords you eternal life was instantly granted to you. You don’t have to buy it on an instalment plan: it’s yours right away.

So let’s encourage our hearts to catch up to what our minds should know: that God’s forgiveness is immediate.

It’s faster than the speed of light.

There’s no time lag with God!

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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