Right now I'm eating a Blueberry Pop-Tart and I'm considering the wonderful grace of God that is on display in that action. You see, I'm a sinner. That means I've fallen short of God's perfect expectations. I've broken His wonderful Law and I don't live up to any of the standards of holiness and love that He has set. I sin every day. I've sinned in several different ways this morning. If I had been subjected only to perfect justice, I would have been dead long ago. I certainly should be experiencing the pains of just retribution for my sins at this very moment.
But instead, this Pop-Tart tastes good! I let it sit kind of too long after taking it out of the toaster, so it's a little cold, but it still pleases me to eat it. I like what I am experiencing! Not only that, but I'm sitting here reading God's Word as well, getting to know Him better. This is not the punishment of a sinner, but the reward of a saint!
But, as I've already pointed out, I deserve the punishment of a devil, not the reward of a saint, so why am I allowed to eat this blueberry Pop-Tart and read the prophet Jeremiah? We Christians know that it is only because of Christ. It is His reward that I am experiencing. He suffered for my sin and took my penalty, and I get His righteous reward through faith because of His sacrifice on the cross.
Sometimes, though, when I am feeling the guilt of my sin, it is easy for me to forget that Christ has truly taken all of God's wrath on my behalf. It's easy to forget that God looks on me in love because Christ's righteousness has been imputed to me. But then, He has built all kinds of reminders into the world that we live in. Food tastes good, we can see the sunrise and sunset in beautiful colors, we enjoy the embrace of our spouse and children, and many other uncounted graces. And when I bite into my breakfast, I am reminded that I am currently receiving a wonderful blessing - pleasure - that is the exact opposite of what I deserve: torment. And if God has allowed me to continue in His grace this far into my sinful life, there is hope for the future because of the perfect and infinitely satisfactory sacrfice of Christ.
Praise be to our Lord for His amazing gift of salvation!