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Where is my hope and assurance?

Yesterday I was listening to a hymn from a CD of hymns sung at one of  Billy Graham's Crusades. The hymn was taken form Psalm 23:6 and it stirred my spirit. 

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." 

What a powerful verse built on a rock-solid knowledge and overflowing  with hope and assurance. As I thought on these words they took me above the current stresses of life and focused me on Jesus. It's amazing how many ideas and truths can come rushing forward, and how much strength and hope can result from one verse. So where to begin? 

Firstly we often forget that when we read the Word, that we are  actually partaking of Jesus (John 1) and that this Word is the same Word that spoke the very world, and our existence into being (in just  six days). No wonder that David devotes the very long Psalm 119 to God's word and that Paul states in Romans 12:2 that, through the Word, that our very lives can  be transformed and that we can also know and understand the perfect will of God. 

“Surely” speaks of an absolute assurance and knowledge that God's  goodness and mercy will follow us. Do I live in this reality? David  adds that this will be the case for the rest of his life. Looking from  the outside we may challenge him and say, “How can you say this?” After all David's life was less than perfect. He was often fleeing for his  life of having to deal with dysfunctional family relationships. Like  Job, David knew that the physical circumstances didn't mean that God's was no longer in control or didn't care. Job's life sums this up best  when in the midst of his stress he declares, “I know that my redeemer  liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And  though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I  see God” (Job 19:25-26). Both these men (including many others  throughout history) kept their sight fixed firmly of God, keeping  their hearts set on things above. In short they did what 2 Peter 1:10  encourages; made their “calling and election sure” and in so doing so they endured until the end. 

As an aside, they may have tripped and stumbled, but they never fell  down permanently. Their lives bear testimony to Psalm 37:23-24, “The  steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his  way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD  upholdeth him with his hand.” 

May one of the foundations in my life be that my God knows what's  best; that He is in control of my life and is directing my ways  accordingly. If I am feeling overwhelmed or downcast let me check the  following: 

  • Am I drawing from Jesus? 
  • Am I walking in His will? 
  • Do I truly trust Him? 

Just before Jesus departed He said in John 14:1-3,

  1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
  2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would  have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 
  3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and  receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

David knew that whatever he attempted would by no means last forever.  On the other hand however, God's plans and purposes for him were  Eternal; and part of that plan was for His people to be physically  reunited with Him, and to then live with Him for eternity. Jesus  reaffirms this desire and plan for us in the above verses. Our hope  does not rest in our ability to create a bright future for ourselves,  or in our academic, sporting or social abilities. After all, all of  these will ultimately fail or cease. The only hope that we can truly  have is in the Lord. 

  • May I be gripped by the same passion as David, that my God is in control. 
  • May I actively confess His goodness (even if it means stepping out  and continuing in faith). 
  • May my greatest hope and desire be to be united with Him in glory. 

In short, may “Christ in me the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) be a living reality of my life.