These days, due to recent developments in our nation, and in fact all around the world, all we seem to receive are news of gloom and hopelessness. This is no different for Christians. While the call for prayer and submission to God is crucial, at times it seems that many people have lost hope, no longer believing that God is in control, or that we have to plead Him to save us.
I have been receiving much of such messages, many written in a tone of desperation, and I sometimes wonder if this is what life as a Christian is about. When Christ made that sacrifice for us at Calvary, He did not just die a martyr’s death. Three days later, He rose again and changed something in the spiritual sphere. As adopted sons and daughters of God, we have certain assurances. What are some of these?
I am writing this as an article for new believers, and it’s going to be a really simple one, because at times I feel that every so often we tend to overcomplicate things. However, my hope is that this article will be an encouragement and reminder for other Christians as well. To build a strong foundation in Christ, we need to have a full sense of our assurances based on the Scriptures.
Assurance of Salvation
The first is the assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13). Though our earthly bodies may die, our souls are eternal and they live on. When we pass on from this earth, we will return back to time without end with the Father, our Creator, and from whom all good things come. This is our greatest guarantee.
Unfortunately, a lot of new Christians, and even more mature ones, tend to base their affirmation of salvation on their feelings. In John 5:24, Jesus said that whoever hears His word, and believes in the One who has sent Him will have eternal life and will not be condemned.
Our God is very intentional and purposeful. He is also Truth. We cannot rely on our feelings in our relationship with God. We need to have faith in Him, take Him at His word, and start living according to our new identities through Christ.
Assurance of Answered Prayers
Secondly, we also have the assurance of answered prayers. When we became Christians, God gave us full access to Him. In John 16:24, Jesus said until the time we became His followers, we had never asked for anything in His name, but now if we do, we will receive to our joy.
Prayer is communication with God. As His adopted children, we can confidently come before Him and share with Him about our problems and the things that affect our lives. We have come to a realization that everything good comes from above. We need to start asking in the name of Christ, our provider.
Ask with a proper reverence for God, both for His power and His Holiness, but also in faith of His mercy and compassion. When we ask God with a right motive, and when it is beneficial to our lives, this is another assurance we have; the answers to our prayers.
Assurance of Victory
Thirdly, we can be assured of victory. Sometimes, as Christians, the devil may attack us when we are weak, and sometimes we may have trouble standing against him in some areas of our lives. In such moments, though our flesh may be weak, it is not our own strength that will triumph against such attacks, but the enablement through Christ and the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
God takes care of His children, and in 1 Corinthians 10:13, we are reminded that He is faithful, and will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. Nevertheless, when we are tempted, we also have the security that God will provide a way out so that we can withstand such pressures. Such security comes through being connected with God and from being near His presence.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is not the only reminder that God is always in control and that we are always safely within the palm of His hands. Some other verses are found in Psalm 32:8, Matthew 6:26, and Matthew 10:29-31.
Assurance of Forgiveness
There are times, however, that we may miss God’s “way of escape”, and sin against Him. Scripture gives us another assurance here; the promise of forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
One aspect of God’s character that we know is that He has the heart of a Father. In many instances in the Bible, He is in fact referred to in the context of our Father in Heaven. Does failure mean that we are disowned by God?
The heart that God has designed for our earthly fathers is a reflection of His own heart. Though we may disobey and fail our biological fathers, yet they still continue to love us. It is the same way with God.
We need to make things right with God when we sin, for “if” in 1 John 1:9 denotes a necessary process of confession. But the verse also tells us that God is faithful and just to the finished work of Christ on the cross. He will be faithful and just to forgive and purify us.
Assurance of Guidance
When we became adopted sons and daughters of God through Christ, He also gave us purpose. We are encouraged through Scripture that we are now His (1 John 3:2), and that we have the roles of being the light in this world (Matthew 5:14-16).
Once in a while, we may wonder what God’s will is for us, and will He lead us or has He left us? Once again, the answer can be found in Scripture. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding. If we acknowledge God as our savior and Lord, He will make our paths straight.
God gave us new-found purposes when we were adopted by Him, and He will not abandon and leave us to struggle through this on our own. Our place is to be obedient to God and He will see us through.
We have these assurances because we have a faithful God, and foremost we know and are reminded of them through God’s word handed down to us. The requirement for us as Christians is straightforward. Jesus said in John 15:5, He is the vine, we are the branches. If we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
This is a reminder coming from a God who cares about His children, and who is sovereign over all circumstances. As Christians, it must serve as our foundation.
NOTE: This article was produced through a devotional study of one of the chapters in Benny Ho’s workbook, ‘Personal Basics for the Journey’.
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