blessedassuranceBecause we trust Christ and are assured of our salvation we have confidence in the saving power of God and we are able to be full of rejoicing. The word rejoice means to be full of joy, full to overflowing. Do you rejoice? Assurance leads directly to rejoicing. We know what God has done, we trust He will bring us safely through to glorification, we await His return, and we rejoice always.

This is a command, to rejoice and give thanks. But it is possible for us to obey this command because of the work of the Spirit. We trust God, we are assured of His promises, and we have cause for overflowing joy.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:6-9

Further, beyond rejoicing in the finished work of Christ and our hope in His salvation, we also see that assurance aids us in gaining victory over temptation. Because we trust the power of God and the ability of the Spirit to keep us we have strength to stand against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Next time you are tempted, remember that Christ died for the forgiveness of your sins. If He made such a sacrifice for you to free you from sin, how difficult is it to stand firm on His truth, reject the temptation for what it is – a counterfeit that will lead only to death – and to overcome?

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. – 1 John 5:4

We also find that as we are assured, as we have confidence in our sovereign Lord, we have courage and boldness in fighting the good fight and being a witness of the saving power of God. Do you think of yourself as bold and courageous? And yet the Spirit gives us boldness and courage as we trust God’s Word and see to obey it.

Courage is “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” And boldness is “fearlessness before danger.” Do we not see these very things produced in the lives of the disciples after the Day of Pentecost. As they received the Holy Spirit they were mighty in boldness and courage, often being persecuted, beaten, and threatened for their faith and preaching, and yet they never stopped. They never toned it down. They kept on preaching and obeying God. Why? Because they trusted that God was able to protect and provide for them and walk with them through the trials and suffering. They had faith that produced assurance.

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD. – Psalm 27:14

The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28:21

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31

Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech. – 2 Cor 3:12

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. – Eph 3:8-13

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not. Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. – Romans 3:3-4

And one more fruit of assurance we see is that of faithfulness. When we have faith, when we trust God and take Him at His Word, that produces in us a confidence in Him as our Savior and that confidence in the saving and sanctifying power of God helps us to be even more faithful. The Spirit produces this fruit in us as we studied previously, and as we have faith we get more faith. In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 1:17 that “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” That phrase from faith to faith means that faith leads to faith. It is an ever growing fruit, compounding and multiplying. Faith leads to faith which leads to more faith. As we trust God and find Him more trustworthy we have that much more faith. We are faithful because God is faithful and we have more and more reasons to love Him and trust Him the longer we serve Him.

Do you have assurance? Are you sure you are saved? Do you have confidence in the power of God, in His Word, and in His ability to forgive your sins? If you waver, if you doubt, if you struggle with assurance, then go to the Word. As your faith grows so will your assurance. Remember, assurance is not about your ability to live the Christian life; it is about God’s ability to keep His Word. Can God lie? Can He fail? No. And that is the source of your assurance. Take your eyes off of yourself and look to Christ. Trust Him and rest assured, He is able to save you and keep. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. “He who promised is faithful and will do it.”

(tomorrow: Faith of Our Fathers)