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Posts Tagged ‘assurance’

I fear what I cannot control … cannot manipulate … cannot overcome.

It is that immovable object, that insurmountable force which disturbs me. I should say it threatens my thirst for autonomy. It stands in the way of unbridled independence.

Part of me would like to control God. I’d like to know that if push came to shove I could have my way; that is until I need God to be God for my sake.

When I am overwhelmed, overcome, devastated and wrought with despair, I need God to be immovable, insurmountable, unchanging and in complete control. I need Him to be fearsome if He is to be a strong tower and a safe haven for me in the storms of life that expose my helpless condition.

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I have no concrete reason to wonder; no point in the past I can point to as evidence for my suspicion. Still, the thought of abandonment pops into my heart and head.

People do it all the time … check out, walk out, give up, move on, disown, discard, divorce. It’s hard to shake the idea that God will eventually get fed up with me, my flaws and my failures.

I would grow hopeless were it not for the gospel; good news that God’s love for us isn’t a reward for acceptable performance, but rather an unconditional gift to meet our greatest need (Ephesians 2:8-9). God obligated Himself to redeem and restore wholly apart from our behavior (Romans 5:8).

God made a promise that silences my suspicion. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Though His word would be enough, He went so far as to forsake His only Son on our behalf as an irrevocable assurance of his steadfast love.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21–23)

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Life is full of such uncertainty.

I think to myself, what bliss to have complete control, supremacy. And yet, no amount of wishing changes the disturbing reality of my frailty. Life happens – triumph and tragedy – and so much of it without consulting me in the least.

So we are left to flail about, groping for any speck of perceived power we can harness.

Or, we can marvel at our Maker. We can see in the majesty of mountains and the opulence of oceans His benevolent heart and hands securing and sustaining our feeble lives. He literally holds us together when all is falling apart.

Take heart. The breath-taking magnificence displayed in all of creation is but a glimpse of the infinite power exerted by the God of our salvation on our behalf each and every day.

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Our adversary is the father of lies.

He specializes in cheap shots. Slander is second nature. He blissfully exploits our greatest vulnerabilities and capitalizes on our confusion. Every deed of his is saturated with sinister intent. He never plays fair. He has no conscience and revels in our adversity. He is relentless in his pursuit of our downfall.

Though fierce, he is defeated.

We do well to ask (as Jesus did on our behalf) that our Father in Heaven “keep us from the evil one.” (John 17:15) Having prayed, and with great assurance, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) “… He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

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Psalm 46: Holding Out Hope

All of creation is in a tantrum (always has been), revolting like an angry child against its consequences of the fall in Eden (see Genesis 3). Natural and un-natural disasters plague our experience and fuel fears of living in a world we cannot control.

What if it all were to crumble? What if our greatest nightmares interrupted our waking hours?

  • God would still be the great I AM.
  • We would still find safe refuge for our souls in an all-sufficient Savior.
  • The redemptive plan of God would carry on unimpeded, certain of fulfillment at the moment He has appointed.

As impossible as it seems, when my world is unraveling … I can rest assured that God will hold me together. I need only to listen, watch, wait and hope (expectantly) for Him to show. “Be still and know that He is God.”

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Sheep without a shepherd are doomed.

Sheep with an incompetent shepherd are vulnerable at best.

Sheep with a good shepherd, despite all their natural flaws and frailties, are assured nourishment, renewal, security and fruitfulness they could not have otherwise.

I do not suffer for lack of a good shepherd; I suffer from my lack of awareness of my desperate need for Him. Thankfully, His goodness and mercy are so vast, He moves heaven and earth to retrieve me from wandering.

The Lord is my Shepherd … and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Strength is currency in the world of assurance.

Absolute strength (and the assurance it affords) in any context is about being immovable and moving all else at will. We naturally feel safe and secure to the degree that we believe we cannot be threatened by a force greater than our own.

In reality, we are truly fragile creatures, who cling to whatever strength we possess, knowing it can be overcome by any number of opposing forces. We are not indestructible, incorruptible, or unyielding. We are mortal.

Genuine assurance is not found in us, but in the ultimate Unmoved Mover. And His strength goes far beyond securing the present, on into eternity.

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