What do you base your confidence on?
At this stage of my life I have come to realize that one of the greatest blessings of my childhood was that I grew up in the context of a rock solid sense of security. As a pastor I have encountered far too many people who have a history that had virtually none of that. I had many friends, teachers and neighbors that I never feared would leave me in the dust. They were interested in caring for me and helping me grow. They were on my side!
I took this for granted at the time and in many ways that is the way the world is supposed to operate. Children shouldn’t need to wonder if people are going to care for them. That is supposed to be the backdrop of life but tragically that is not always the case. As blessed as I was by so many people in my life; the greatest assurance came from my family. There has not been a moment in my life that I wondered if my parents would not follow through in their love for me.
I never wondered if they were just empty words that I couldn’t trust. There wasn’t one time that I considered that my mom and dad were only out for themselves. Because of that reality I have always lived with a sense of assurance that I would never go through life without people committed to journey with me. For nearly fifty years this confidence has grown and this wasn’t something I created. It was created in me by their consistent actions all through my life. My hope is based on a reality and not some wishful thinking. Although my parents are not perfect I cannot imagine any parents that would have given me a greater confidence in their love. I am blessed.
Then there is the assurance that comes from our God. It has no flaws and no limitations. It truly is even better than what I received from my earthly parents. We don’t drum up our security and our assurance about what our God thinks of us. We do not wonder if He is committed to our lives or if his love is nothing more than hollow platitudes. Our assurance and our faith is based on its’ object. God himself is the creator of our faith and our confidence. It is not my responsibility to create faith and hope – God creates it and builds it in me.
- 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?...
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8)