When Doubts and Fears Assail Us
For almost every Christian, there comes a moment when we’re tempted to despair over whether we will make it to heaven, whether we will be able to keep trusting Christ for another day, and whether we can continue in faith amid our own waywardness and sinfulness. And when that moment comes, we must take hold of this promise: it is God who perseveres, God who keeps us, and God who guards His people.
When we talk about the great Reformation doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints” we are, strictly speaking, talking about the perseverance of God Himself. In Romans 8:31-36, Paul poses a series of rhetorical questions that are intended to underscore the reality that nothing can separate God’s children from Christ’s love and to reinforce the truth that once we are laid hold of by the Good Shepherd, who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11), we remain in His fold forever. And Paul ends with these glorious words: nothing that he (or you) can possibly conceive of “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you are in Christ, you can never be lost.
So what are we to do about the doubts and fears that assail us? We must fix our gaze on the Lord Jesus Himself. When we look at ourselves, we have good reason for discouragement and trepidation. It is by looking to Jesus that we are enabled to run the race set before us. He endured the cross, scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2), that we might be forgiven and continue through our days.
Our faith will not fail, because God sustains it. Those who have already run the race, breasted the tape, and entered into the joy of the Lord are today happier but no more secure than the stumbling, struggling, trusting, growing, persevering believer. There is no power or plot that can separate those who trust in Christ from the love of God. You could not be more loved than you are. You could not be more secure than you are.
The work which His goodness began
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo
Or sever my soul from His love.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
1Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
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