Devotion from Pastor Gary
“THE GROUND OF OUR ASSURANCE”
It is utterly crucial that in those times of darkness, we affirm the wise, strong Hand of our GOD to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold HIM, [Philippians 3:12]. The key thing to see in this verse… is that all Paul’s efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in CHRIST are secured by the grasp of JESUS on him. Never forget that our security rests on the LORD’S FAITHFULNESS… first.
Our personal faith in JESUS can rise and fall, and sometimes in degrees. But who we are in HIM, does not rise and fall, and it has no degrees. Yet, there are times when our faith is the size of a mustard seed and barely visible in our expression of it. The fact is, that the darkest experience for the child of the KING is when our faith sinks out of our own sight. Not out of GOD’S but out of the believer. We can be overwhelmed with darkness that we do not know if we are still a believer---and still be one.
We have a full assurance of faith given to us by our GOD, because we are saved by the work of GOD drawing us to HIS saving faith through the wooing power of the HOLY SPIRIT, [John 3:8]. Which means that our GOD is at the bottom f our faith. Even in our times of darkness, we can be safe in JESUS, [Romans 8:16]; [2 Timothy 2:19]; [1 Corinthians 1:9]; [Philippians 1:6]. When darkness comes, we must choose to wait for the LORD, call on HIM, and know that our own self-indictment, rendered in our darkness, is not as sure as GOD’S Word spoken in the Light!
Believers in those times of dark depression, may question in desperation, how they can know that they our truly a Child of GOD? They are not questioning being saved through faith, but the question lies in whether their faith is real? Only the HOLY SPIRIT can guide us through this process. I want to share a request: Stop looking at your faith, and rivet your attention on JESUS. Our faith is sustained not by our works, but by our Crucified and risen Savior and LORD! It is not so much about our joy in faith, but the greatness of our Savior and Friend.
We must also call to attention the evidence of HIS Grace operating in our life, [1 Corinthians 12:3]. The evidence stands as an objective hope and an act of love over against our own subjective darkness. Remember as well, there is a kind of certainty that we live by, and this too is enough, because in the end this too is a gift from our GOD. Our certainty is rooted in good experience and the God-given stability of nature. It is a sweet assurance—also a gift of GOD.
This idea follows that we should fortify ourselves against the enemy’s tool, the tool? The dark hours of depression cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of it pessimism. But we have seen, time and again, from our own experiences as well as from others, that absolute statements of hopelessness we do express in our dark hours… is notoriously unreliable… our dark certainties are not sureties. While we have the LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL, we must make every effort to cultivate distrust of the certainties of despair.
In View of Eternity,
GREEN VALLEY CHURCH OF GOD
304-727-7940 or 740-297-9946
Pastors, Gary and Martha Bennett
September 14, 2021