Assurance; February 27, 2019

John 16:22 “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

The disciples who heard Jesus say this went through some incredible hardships, with John the only one to die a natural death, and he actually didn’t get off any easier than the others. However, in all of that they had a joy that no amount of suffering could negate, because they served a risen Savior! They had definitive proof that this world wasn’t the be-all and end-all of everything, and they were on the winning side. This is behind a verse in this same chapter that I quote very frequently: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We tend to allow all sorts of things to distract us from this glorious reality: physical pain and disease, interpersonal relationships, finances, disasters of all sorts. However, none of those are a match for being in Christ, our risen Lord and Savior who very literally went through hell for us (as the Catholic version of the Apostles Creed proclaims). That is why abiding in Christ, as He tells us repeatedly to do, is so vital. We abide in Him through loving obedience, and with that done, everything else fades to insignificance.

One of the sharpest memories of my childhood is of a time I was riding in the car with my parents. We happened to be on the Administrative Annex of Itazuke Air Force Base, where I went to school since it was the only American school in the city. I even remember the specific part of the base. My father was driving, and I was asking my mother how I could be really sure I was a Christian. (I had been baptized on the profession of my faith at age seven.) My mother responded by reminding me of a song that I knew and loved well, titled, He Lives. The last line of that says, “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.” That satisfied me then, and it satisfies me now. My goal in life is for everyone I know to be able to make that confession with the same assurance I do. It won’t happen to that degree, because God doesn’t violate our free will, but I know that God desires it even more than I do. (1 Timothy 2:4)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that my cold is so much better, day by day. Thank You also that it’s been several years since I last had a cold like this. Thank You that everything is in Your hands, flowing on Your schedule, so I don’t need to be anxious about any of it. Help me indeed not waste any emotional energy on such anxiety, but trust and obey You fully in every detail, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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