Word of the Week: Assurance

A fellow by the name of Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about a preacher in a small town whose kitten climbed a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down.

The preacher coaxed the kitty with warm milk, but it wouldn’t budge. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the preacher decided that if he tied a rope to his car he could bend the tree down enough to get the kitten. He did all this, checking his progress frequently. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went “boing!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air–out of sight.

The preacher felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went on about his business.

A few days later he met one of his church members, a woman well-known as a cat-hater buying cat food.

“Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?” He inquired.

“You won’t believe this,” she replied. Then proceeded to him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Finally after being worn out by the little girl’s persistent pleas, she said: “Well if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.”

Then she said, “I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, preacher, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.”

However, there’s one problem. The story isn’t true. It’s an urban legend that’s made the rounds on the internet but it’s pure fiction.

Sadly, too many people in the religious world base their beliefs on myths, feel-good stories, contemporary tales that have no basis in reality.

Unbelievers scoff at such silliness denouncing Christians as being uneducated, uninformed and unenlightened. Faith is scorned. Religion is ridiculed. And God is mocked.

Faith in God and hope in His promises are clearly enunciated in Scripture that provides us assurance.

To the skeptical philosophers in ancient Athens, the apostle Paul proclaimed the true nature of God and affirmed the assurance of our faith through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ax. 17:23-31).

The Hebrew writer declared that “it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18). He paid the price for our redemption through Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross. We can be saved from our sins. There is the hope of heaven beyond the grave. And we can be assured of our salvation.

Don’t listen to the skeptics. Don’t allow doubt to dwell in your mind. Don’t give in to your fears. We can live with certainty. Accept setbacks with surety. And face the future with confidence.

When we have obeyed the gospel, are walking the light, and seeking constant communion with Him, we can say with the Psalmist, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1).

“We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb 6:11-12).

It is this assurance that allows us to boldly sing Fanny Crosby’s classic Hymn:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

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