1 John 3:19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (ESV)
Assurance and security; those are words that convey importance to me. Those are words that influence so many decisions in my life — financial, residential, employment. At the risk of overstating, even my shopping decisions are colored by assurance and security. At our house, the only jar of mayonnaise you will find in the refrigerator is Best Foods; the only cream cheese is Philly. I want to know that what I get is “worth it.”
So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, spiritually, when things are dry, when health is trying, when finances are “iffy,” job security “isn’t,” where is my assurance? Where is my security?
My security must be in God, and He has revealed Himself through His Word, the Bible. Don’t you love it that He knows us so well, that He even addresses directly what to do when our feelings don’t match up to the truth? When my heart condemns me — tells me I’m not worth it, circumstances aren’t worth it — God is greater than my heart. I’m going to repeat that: God is greater than my heart. When my feelings don’t match the truth of God’s Word, I choose to believe His Word.
“. . .because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
Here’s the key to the “how to” of fighting feelings with truth. I must cling to Christ; I must submit to Christ; I must give my will to Christ. I must place all my “assurance and security” in Christ.
I’ve been spending more time reading the writings of the Puritan-age preachers. What faith, what singularity of focus! Here’s a quote that I’ve been chewing on for the past couple of days. . .
“I suppose many do not understand themselves, when they say they want assurance; for what better assurance would you have than the word of God? If you have his word, and take his word, you need no better assurance. (Ralph Erskine 1685 – 1752)