Blessed assurance, it’s not just a song. It is a state of mind for us Christians. It’s what keeps us pushing forward when it is sometimes so hard to see any beauty in this world. It is what causes us, like the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:21, to see death as a beautiful release while also wishing to remain on earth to do the will of our Father in Heaven.
That blessed assurance not only liberates us from fear of death, but it also tells us that our lives will have meaning and purpose if we serve the Lord. We are told in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This verse has always been a source of great comfort to me, and should be for all Christians. It tells us at least a couple of things about the blessed assurance of things to come.
But let us also not overlook the selective language of this verse. All things will end up for good, but only for those who love the Lord. We are constantly surrounded by people who blame God for the bad things that happen to them. They ask themselves, “Why has God allowed this to happen to me?” So few who ask that question would also ask of themselves if they were on the right spiritual track. Remember what Jesus said in John 14:15, that to love Him is to follow his commandments. Therefore, if we follow the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, our lives will in turn play out well for us.
And when I say that our lives will turnout well for us, I am not saying that our wildest dreams will come true. A person who loves the Lord has the blessed assurance that their life will be used for His purpose. Sometimes, God uses unfortunate situations to allow us to show His glory to others. Sometimes this is at great personal cost, but rather than being angry at God for allowing bad things to happen to us, we should feel honored that He would give us such opportunities to show the world the hope we have. And if in the midst of a bad situation we still glorify God, and others see that, has it not then worked unto good? And when times of death come upon us, we must remember 1 Corinthians 6:20, that our lives do not belong to us and therefore God has every right to end us in whatever way he sees fit.
The best way to illustrate all of this would be with my own personal experience. I haven’t really made much mention of this, but some of you may have noticed the funny little bald patch on the back of my head. That is where the hair has still yet to grow back from the proton radiation treatment I underwent last year for brain cancer. Just a week or so ago, my father and I were traveling to MD Anderson in Houston for a check-up. While we were still on the way, my dad asked me if I was ever afraid of dying. With the greatest of confidence I was able to tell him that I have never been afraid for my own life. We talked about Romans 8:28, and I told him that I was remembering that verse every step of the way from when the tumor was first discovered, to the surgery to remove it, and to the radiation to prevent it from coming back.
I told my dad that I knew God’s will would be done in all of this so long as we prayed for it to be so and remained faithful in our thoughts and actions. And I knew, like Paul did in Philippians, that if I were to die it would be a beautiful thing. I would never have to worry about the problems of this world again, and while my family would miss me terribly, they would still know that I would be waiting for them in heaven. That is blessed assurance.
Yet in today’s many different buffet-style “Christian” religions (and perhaps even in the Church), people would like to think that blessed assurance means you are going to have a pleasant life with very few problems. This kind of thinking is what causes many people of weak faith to turn away from God when bad things happen in their lives. But our blessed assurance is in the knowing that this world is fading away into dust, and through it all God will preserve us if we give him our best effort and trust him every step of the way.