Encouraging Assurances from the Word of God
By Jon W. Quinn
There is a lot to be worried about
today, isn't there? We are confronted with many problems that are real and
need tending to. Our lives are less enjoyable due to problems such as crime,
pollution, hunger, disease and so forth. But these are not our greatest
problems - that would be our spiritual distress. Jesus asked, “What
shall a man be profited if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own
However, all is not lost, and strong faith drives out cynicism as well as the
depression and the despair it brings. Consider some encouraging assurances
from God that will make our lives happier and freer to the extent we have
faith in Him.
Let Us Rise Up and Build
The Christian has every reason to be confident and maintain peace of mind. He
or she serves a God that is more powerful than adversity; a God who is able to
bring His faithful children through it all to eternal victory - a never ending
glory which far outshines anything we have experienced thus far. Not even the
final problem with which each of us must deal - death - can defeat those who
trust in the Resurrected One! (See 1 Corinthians 15:57).
Nehemiah once said, “Let us rise up and build.” The Scripture tells us that
the people responded by “putting their hands to the good work.” (Nehemiah
2:18). The city of Jerusalem had laid in ruins for a generation. A small band
of courageous men and women set themselves to rebuilding the city of their
ancestors even as they were surrounded by their enemies. Though their foes
were powerful and their city just mounds of charred rubble, with God they
succeeded. So it is with faithful Christians today. We live and speak for
Christ. He will not let us down - we will put our hands to the good work.
He Will Make Your Paths Straight
In our age of cynicism and doubt, there is one to whom we can go and in whom
we can trust. As the old hymn suggests, “Where could I go but to the Lord?”
Security and peace of mind are needed by men and women today - but this has
always been the case throughout human history. The Bible says, “In all your
ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6).
It is a tragedy for any of us to accept aimlessness as a part of life.
Depression occurs when one thinks that there is no longer much reason to live
- no reachable, worthwhile goal to attain. But every one of us is born with
the highest and noblest of purposes - to serve and glorify God. He promises to
“make (our) paths straight” - that is, to give purpose and direction to our
lives. But we must in turn “in all our ways acknowledge Him” - that is, in our
homes, at our jobs, or school or as neighbors. It is always our duty to
glorify God in every setting. It is our duty and privilege, and it will never
end - not even beyond the grave and in eternity when He shares His ultimate
glory with His faithful ones redeemed from the earth.
Death Loses Its Victory
Paul was in prison because of his faith in Jesus Christ. He was not sure what
the future held - life or death. Inspired by the Holy Spirit as an apostle of
Christ, he wrote of his dilemma. Surprisingly, the dilemma was not, “Oh, I
dread the awful things that may happen to me.” His dilemma was that he could
not decide which would be better; to live on in the world or to go home to
God. He said, “...according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall
not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even
now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me,
to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh,
this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I
am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with
Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more
necessary for your sake.” (Philippians 1:20-24).
This is a statement of dynamic faith. Paul had taught others that true faith
was like this; that it is even more precious than life itself. Paul believed
and practiced what he preached to others. Of course, he had seen and talked
with Jesus after the Lord's resurrection and ascension. His attitude, seen in
these words written from a prison, show his truthfulness. He was taking his
stand based on what he really believed, and in fact knew to be true.
The fear of death is cast down by faith. “Death, where is your victory? Death,
where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54,55). For the child of God, even the
final enemy is vanquished in eternal victory.
Redeemed Through the Cross
Concerning Jesus, the Scriptures say, “Our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and
purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.”
(Titus 2:13,14). Jesus' death on the cross was much like that of a common
criminal. That's exactly the impression His enemies wanted to make… that Jesus
was just an evil doer being put to death. And yet, Jesus had done no wrong. No
one could make an accurate charge against Him. He had been betrayed and
arrested; bound and shuffled from priest to governor to king in a series of
rigged and unlawful procedures. He suffered beatings, loneliness and
ultimately the brutality of the cross.
The amazing thing is that He had it within His power to stop the whole thing
at any step along the way. The One who stilled the storm and raised the dead
could have - but chose not to - call on legions of angels to dispense justice.
But instead of that, He would endure the cross and dispense love, mercy and
forgiveness. His enemies thought they were taking His life. In reality, He was
giving it. There's a big difference!
He died that we might live; reborn to live a new life; and He now lives that
we might live for Him today and with Him in eternity.
These have been some encouraging assurances from God that will make our lives
happier and freer to the extent we have faith in Him. He desires our success,
but also permits us to make our own decisions. Faith in Him will make a great
difference in the courses our lives will take and their eternal conclusions!
From The Bradley Banner 9/5/2010
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway