LIVE THE JOURNEY WITH ASSURANCE
You know, I’ve discovered that it’s one thing to plan for a journey, then we start out on our journey, but I think you’ll agree that one of the hardest things to do is to Live the Journey, especially with a true sense of “Assurance” of where we’re going and what it’ll take to get there. I love what John Newton writes about the Christian Life:
Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord’s power and goodness to save;
when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety;
and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances;
and this trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance;
for even assurance has degrees.
I had a conversation the other day with someone who is going though a health struggle and doesn’t seem to have any end in sight. Through the conversation one thing was said that really stuck with me…“We keep wishing the Lord would fix this and He keeps saying ‘NO’…this is where I want you.” After much conversation and discussion about what God might be up to in this situation, we both wondered out loud…“maybe the struggle was actually beautiful?!” You see, it’s often in these moments of struggle that we find ourselves becoming more dependent on Him, maybe even more than any other time…and in that is beautiful. Now I know, you’re maybe thinking, how is that beautiful? Well, maybe it’s because He’s actually making us more like Him, in His image…and that is beautiful. We paused for a moment of silence, pondered that thought and then said goodbye.
After getting off the phone I replayed that conversation over and over and then, I began to recount the many times in my own life where I’ve seen God move. I’m not sure of the last time I really stopped to reflect and to REMEMBER.
What if we really took time to remember who God is and that His plan isn’t always our immediate gratification?! Why is so hard to accept that His plan is much bigger and more important…our Sanctification? Let me be clear and say that again…God’s plan isn’t your gratification, it’s your sanctification.
In our Father’s eyes, our sanctification is MUCH more important with eternity at stake. Wouldn’t you agree? I love Francis Chan refers to our ratios being off. We spend 99% of our time focused on the less than 1% of eternity that we spend on Earth, when really things make whole lot more sense when it’s the opposite. I mean, doesn’t preparing for eternity with the Lord deserve 99% of our attention?
What if, today, we spent the majority of our time remembering who God is and what He’s done just as the Psalmist did and then use that as a basis for belief in the time that is to come? With those thoughts written on our hearts, I believe our response to the unknown will tend toward Assurance and not fear.
And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were
The depths also trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound;
Your arrows also flashed about.
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known.
You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Take five minutes to remember the times that God has been faithful throughout your life. Maybe before you write them on your heart you need to first write them on paper? Then carry that with you throughout the rest of your day with ASSURANCE that our God is moving!