One of the greatest helps in feeling hopeful is to know God wants us to feel hopeful. It is small comfort to believe some people are saved but not to know if we are included. My own heart has been so gladdened recently by the assurance of my own salvation that I want you all to share this with me.
First, let me recommend a book. In 1654 Thomas Brooks published Heaven on Earth. The subtitle of this 300-page book is “A Treatise on Christian Assurance.” It was reprinted by Banner of Truth Trust in 1982. If you are hungry for a Bible-saturated, passionate meal of solid protein, get this book. Brooks addresses his readers:
Beloved in our dearest Lord, you are those worthies ‘of whom this world is not worthy,’ Hebrews 11:38. You are the princes ‘that prevail with God,’ Genesis 32:28. You are those ‘excellent ones’ in whom is all Christ’s delight, Psalm 16:3. You are his glory. You are his picked, culled, prime instruments which he will make use of to carry on his best and greatest work against his worst and greatest enemies in these latter days.
The statement that moved me most recently is Hebrews 6:17, “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise…” It hit me so powerfully. It was so fresh, so needed, so precious. Namely, that God desires to show us convincingly that his saving purposes for us are unshakable. God wants me to enjoy the security of his good plans for me.
So many religions (and even some brands of Christianity) say, “Yes, God saves people. But no, you can’t be sure if you are included. You can’t be sure your works are good enough or your faith is strong enough.” This is deadly. And it is wrong. God has done and said so much to give his people assurance and security, it is an assault on his integrity to say that we can’t have it.
1 John 5:13 - “I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
2 Corinthians 5:1, 5 - “We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
Hebrews 10:21, 23 - “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.”
Brooks tells the story of Alexander the Great, who gave away his gold when he went on a hopeful expedition. When asked why, he said, “For the hope of greater and better things.” The same with us. If we are confident of greater and better things, we will have the freedom to live radically for Jesus.
Anchored in God,