There are days when I drive away from New Home down and anxious. I, like every Christian, have seasons where I lack assurance, joy, and peace. Every Christian experiences what the Apostle John says in 1 John 3:19-20,
“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
There will be times we need reassurance. There will be times when our heart condemns us. Yet, through it all, God Himself is our assurance. God Himself is greater. God Himself knows all that you are going through. God Himself is the basis of our hope.
When Thomas had his doubts, Jesus presented himself as his assurance. Saying,
“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27)
In the same way, in seasons of doubt, Put your finger to the written word, look at it, put your hands upon it, and believe it. When you do this, you can exclaim with Thomas,
“Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
Those times when I drive away from New Home anxious, afraid, and uncertain are difficult. Am I having an impact? Am I doing what God desires me to do? These are questions that rattle through the heads of all Christians at times. We all share this fear of failure, and we all have dark seasons. What is our response in these seasons?
There is a curve in the road when you come back into New Home. When I’m on my way back, I turn around that corner, and see the cross on top of New Home Baptist Church in the distance. At night it glows in the dark, high above everything else in New Home. When I see that cross in the distance, all my fears and doubts wash away. I am reminded of my sin imputed to Him, and His righteousness imputed to me, by faith. I am reminded of His perfect on my behalf. I am reminded of my position now in Christ because of that work. And I am reminded that this work does not shift, or change with the seasons.
We will have these seasons, and don’t let your heart condemn you when you have them. Even the great heroes of the faith have these seasons. I want you to read what Ligonier Ministries has to say about assurance, and doubt:
“In this case, the “by this” of verse 19 would have us reassure our hearts by finding specific instances where we have sacrificed to love our brothers. Even as we do this, however, we will find on occasion that our hearts are troubled. We will see how far short of God’s requirements we remain, even if we have come a long way in our sanctification. That is why verse 20b gives us the ultimate basis for our assurance: God Himself. God is indeed greater than our heart, and He knows everything, including the sins of which we remain unaware. Nevertheless, he still promises to receive us based not on our own goodness, but on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us when we were born again. When our hearts condemn us, God’s promise to receive the repentant and humble person who trusts in Jesus alone.”
So, the point is this, if you struggle with assurance of salvation, stop looking at your work as the basis of your assurance. If you look at your short-comings, you will have short-lived assurance. If you look at His perfect work, you will have true assurance. And remember this quote, I heard recently from a man I respect,
“When I look at my works I think, how can I be saved? When I look at the cross I think, how can I be lost?”