Monday, August 13, 2012

Perks of Faith

By Susan Stilwell, Guest Blogger

What’s the best job “perk” you’ve ever had? I’m not talking about dental coverage and a drug card, although those are excellent perks! I’m talking about something fun, like a discount on shoes... free passes to the movies... free food...

My best perk (at the time) came when I worked in a concession stand. I could have all the fountain drinks, french fries and corn dogs I could eat! I cringe at that now, especially since I know how much sugar is in Coke, how much fat is in french fries, and how much unmentionable “animal byproduct” is in a corn dog.

Since then I’ve had better jobs with better benefits, some of which I use regularly, like medical insurance. And there are some benefits I have yet to “cash in” on, like retirement accounts.

Faith has benefits too, some of them we experience in the present and some, like eternity with God, we won’t experience until the future. Romans chapter 5 has some of my favorite “faith perks” -
  • peace with God,
  • access to Him through prayer,
  • joy in midst of suffering,
  • hope,
  • character and maturity,
  • God’s love poured into us,
  • Holy Spirit living in us,
  • justified and reconciled before God,
  • recipients of God's grace, and
  • eternal life
We have all those benefits spiritually, but do we experience them physically? Mentally? Relationally? My guess is that the average Christian has a head-knowledge of these, but has yet to let them do their full and transformative work in his/her whole being.

Since “we are what we think,” what do we fill our minds with? Trashy literature? Fearful thoughts? Questionable entertainment? We shouldn’t complain about not having any joy in our lives if we continually fill our minds with junk.

But what if we filled our minds with the Word? What if we memorized even tiny verses of scripture, like Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always”? Since God’s Word is active and alive and sharper than a two-edged sword, our thought-life would be transformed. 

We would start to view the world thru the lens of the Word, and would start to learn what was good for us and what wasn’t. We would be convicted of things we should or shouldn’t do. We would be prompted to get out of our comfort zones and start taking bigger steps of faith.

As the Word transforms our mind, our body begins to transform. Our countenance will change. Rest will restore us. God will give us healthier physical desires.

The transformation continues to our relationships. We’ll look at people and actually see them instead of looking past them. We’ll be more sensitive to the needs of others. We’ll be more gracious and forgiving because we understand how important the Lord’s grace and forgiveness has been in our lives.

But the best thing of all is that we’ll be more like JESUS, and that will make Him smile. And when we open our eyes in eternity and see THAT, it'll be better than all the discounts, freebies and fries in the world.

Susan Stilwell is a wife to Steve, and mom to Scott and Sarah. After that, she teaches Bible studies, writes and speaks. In her spare time, she helps friends learn to program their gadgets and fix up their blogs (

Roanoke, VA is her home and she can be found on Twitter (@susanrstilwell) and on the web at


  1. Great post, Susan! Oh, the benefits of being in a relationship with Christ...they are countless, but those you shared this morning truly touched my heart. Thank you!

    (And thank you, Jamie!)

  2. Susan,
    This is what I need to hear this morning. After a busy weekend with two sets of company, I need to find renewal and rest... reading and meditating on God's Word. That's where the joy and transformation takes place. Thanks Susan for sharing...and thanks Jamie for having Susan as your guest blogger. What a blessing!

  3. Thanks, Glenda and Cathy! And to all of Jamie's friends --

    Please pray that she gets her computer issues fixed soon. It went on the fritz Sunday morning so she had to take it in for a repair. Her online friends are such a great support system for her, and laptop provides that connection. I know she misses reading your comments and posts!

  4. Great post Susan! Thank you & Amen!

    Love, Hester ;)

  5. Oh that's why I haven't heard from her this week! I'll be praying her computer gets fixed soon.