Friday, May 17, 2019

The Blessing of Confidence

There are certain segments of Christianity that teach having a relationship with God means having good things all the time. That if you have enough faith, then you can have your dream house, perfect health, a full bank account, untroubled relationships, and any number of other things. I do not think there is anything necessarily wrong with wanting, or even praying for, these things. They are a blessing from God. The problem comes when we put them first and when our faith depends upon them.

That is not the purpose of the life of faith, and I received a reminder of that a little while ago when reading Ps. 112:7. The whole psalm surrounding it describes the blessings that are available to the righteous person. They are many of the things we still look for today. But while a believer can have and pursue the good things of this world, he must be mindful that they are not the ultimate things. This one verse in the middle of the psalm spells that out to us.

He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord.

Christianity is not a guarantee that we will never have to hear bad news. And receiving bad news is not proof that we have alienated God or that we have failed to have enough faith. This life is a troubled one, marred by sin. People may not like to hear that, but they cannot deny its truth. Things go wrong. Expecting that to stop is asking too much. Things should not be the source of our joy. Assurance should be.

We can know what God has done. After centuries of promises to provide a Savior, He sent His Son to live as a human being. His perfect life was then taken on a cross, at which time He became the sacrifice for our sins. It was a payment, His life for ours. And then when He rose back to life three days later, a resurrection witnessed by hundreds over the course of more than a month, Jesus opened the door for us to have eternal life with Him. By trusting in Him, we receive the guarantee that this world is not where we have to look for happiness. Instead, we will find more in heaven than anything here can provide.

I know it can be tough to wait. I know we want everything fixed now. But living as though that can happen will lead to inevitable disappointment. The solution isn’t here. And, strange as it might sound, that should be a comfort. Our answers are not to be found in the temporary elements of the world. Our confidence, rather, is in knowing that we are loved by the eternal God who holds the universe in His hand. Jesus proved that, and when we remember it, we can overcome anything life has to throw at us. We must try not to miss out on that joy because of temporary troubles in a passing existence.

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