Friday, May 4, 2012

Blessed Assurance

I recently finished reading Tullian Tchividjian’s Do I Know God?, and what a blessing it was. Like so many others, a recurring struggle in my life is one with doubt – doubt over whether or not I truly know God and have experienced his saving grace. I have agonized over the words of Matthew 7:21-23, praying that he would enable me to be faithful and that God would recognize me as one of His own on that coming day. Despite my doubt, I know that Christ himself desires for me to be certain of my standing with him, and I desire to experience that assurance. Tullian walks through scripture and describes how the examination of three areas of our lives can allow us to experience this certainty – our feelings toward God, our obedience of his law, and our belief in his promises and his character.

When God adopts us into his eternal family, he gives us new hearts that begin to love what he loves and hate what he hates. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!" Our feelings, loves, and desires speak volumes about where we stand with God, and our thoughts and emotions about God matter to God. What do my thoughts, feelings, and desires reveal about my relationship with him? What does my heart speak about God?

Jesus said that the children of God would be known by their good works. Good works have nothing to do with establishing a relationship with God, but they have everything to do with enjoying fellowship and community with him. Am I pursuing fellowship with God through the obedience of his laws? Am I studying his Word so that I know his laws? Am I able to speak the words of Psalm 119: "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word"?
God’s character itself leads us to certainty in our relationship with him. There are too many attributes of God to name, but some that come to mind are: infinite, infallible, immutable, compassionate, loving, merciful, holy. If we believe all of these things to be true, we have no choice but to trust in his many promises. He promises to save us from wrath through faith in Jesus. He promises that when we are adopted into his family, he will never, ever leave or forsake us. He promises that, through Christ, we are made holy and spotless in his eyes. What assurance these promises give!

For all of us, it is my prayer that "you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." May we, the children of God, be filled with his fullness and rest in the assurance of his eternal, saving grace.

Casey Voorhees, Foster Care Social Worker

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