The topic of assurance is a difficult one for many believers in Christ. This can be particularly true for those raised in backgrounds who are actively discouraged from seeking such assurance. However, the solution to such difficulty is not running from the issue of doubting our faith, but by wrestling with the issue head on by examining it. As without assurance, while we may be true believers in Christ, we will aimlessly limp on without much confidence toward our heavenly home. It affects our worship and our witness for Christ while on this earth.
What is Assurance?
Assurance is knowing that you know Christ, that you have confidence that you are a true believer in Christ, not someone self-deceived. One of the best descriptions of Biblical assurance can be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 18:
“Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God, and estate of salvation; which hope of theirs shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed.”Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 18:1
So, as the Confession states, there is such a thing as a false assurance or self-deception of a false convert, but there also exists true assurance of salvation for the true believer. Since this assurance exists, the true believer should seek to grow in this area.
The Blessings of Assurance
There are many challenges in the Christian life, but what could be more troubling than doubting your own salvation? What could be more horrible than wondering if you will wake up one day in hell?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”1 John 4:18
As you travel towards your heavenly home, as you have left behind spiritual Egypt and its slavery, yet you may still doubt if you will ever get to your eternal destination. Such doubts can be questioning of our own faith, or questions of God’s faithfulness itself.
How can you face the trials of life? How can you face certain death, which comes to us all, if you do not know if God really has set His love upon you? Such a walk would be filled with doubts and grief.
However, with Biblical assurance comes a sure confidence that Christ has truly saved you, that the Father loves you in Christ and that He has promised to bring you to heaven; what does all this bring the believer? It brings joy and peace, a confidence that no matter what happens, you will get to heaven one day. That death is not to be feared, nor should it cause us torment. It brings joy to know that you have received Christ’s redeeming love.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”1 John 1:3-4
The Apostle John wrote the letter of 1 John mainly focused on the issue of assurance. He wrote on this topic in that letter so “your joy may be full”. Knowing that you are saved brings greater joy and boldness to your walk. It will change you from being a fearful person to a more courageous person in Christ.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”Romans 8:31
Many within the modern church struggle with assurance. It’s not the first generation to struggle with assurance, but it’s often a result of low levels of obedience to Christ. The modern church is so casual about religion that it often robs itself of the blessings of assurance. Many often wallow in doubts as they believe that nothing can be done to aid them out of such despair. While we will fall short this side of eternity, we ought to seek the blessings that are in Christ, a soothing medicine for our journey to heaven. Dear believer, may you seek Christ more, that He may assure your heart of the fact that you truly belong to Him.
There are so many distractions and gimmicks foolishly attempting to entertain people into the Kingdom of God, but true assurance is something that would truly transform your walk. It is something that would transform your church and your family. That you would share the truth of the gospel to the next generation with confidence that this is truth, and that you know that you truly serve it.
There are no short cuts to Biblical assurance, but so often the solution is we simply need to spend more time with God. We need to set time aside every single day. Time is a precious gift, a gift given by God Himself. That time with God needs to be focused, serious, reverential as He alone is worthy of such praise and honour; it is spent in prayer, reading and meditation upon what God has fed a believer with.
God often can keep assurance from a believer so that they will seek Him more than they have in the past. So that in our walk, we do not drift from Him. At the end of the day, it is Christ and more of Him we ought to seek for. The more we long for Him and find satisfaction in Him, the more He is our supreme joy on this earth. The more we seek Him, the greater the evidence of conversion.
It is in those wonderful and sweet moments alone with God in prayer and focused meditation on His Word, moments often indescribable in the peace they bring, that He truly reassures our hearts of His love for us. Without those sweet moments with Christ, we can often be left with a cold and lifeless Christianity. Such religion brings little comfort and little joy to us, and all too often it brings little comfort to others around us.