Suppose you just inherited a million bucks… tax free. It’s in your bank account now.
Everything else in your life is just as it was the day before. You still have that car repair appointment to keep, you still pass the same three needy folk on the street as you walk from the parkade to your office, the cash in your retirement fund is still inadequate by itself, and there is still that overdue $400 tax bill to settle.
Yesterday you worried about how much that car repair was going to cost; yesterday you passed all three of those needy folk as you usually do; yesterday you tried not to think about retirement needs, and you wondered what other bills you could juggle to keep the CRA happy.
But today you are rich! You have a resource well able to take care of all these things. You have a new confidence, you walk a bit lighter, take greater notice of the needs of others, and you begin to imagine what before was unimaginable.
Assurance is a wonderful thing! Assurance brings confidence. But assurance of one’s salvation is far more valuable than all the bucks in the bank this world can offer! Assurance is the root that supports the plant.
John said about the gospel account he had written, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31). Years later he wrote again, giving a similar explanation,
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:13-15)
God wants us to be confident in Him, in His love and good plans. But we can so quickly forget!
Peter wrote to believers who had scattered because of persecution, saying,
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. (2 Pet. 1:12-15)
Seems we must always go back to these basics, knowing who we are and whose we are, going deeper, knowing in head and knowing in heart, deeper, deeper returning and resting. Isaiah wrote and Paul cited, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9 NASB; Isa. 64:4).
Paul prayed, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)
We have barely begun to know God! What lay ahead seems such an incredibly long journey. How good it is that we have an eternity to work at it! God Himself will transform us. As Paul confidently asserts “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6)
Yes, assurance is a wonderful thing! Assurance brings confidence. You know that you know what you know! You know in your head and you know in your heart. As Alfred Ackley composed in 1933: “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.” (Alfred Ackley, He Lives 1933)
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