I want to begin by saying thank you. Thank you to my wife for letting me contribute on this blog. I also want to thank you for reading. This blog has been a great source of encouragement for Julie and I over the years. Your feedback has been key for us getting even more revelation of the Grace of God.
Today I want to ask you a few questions and hopefully encourage you in the process. On what do you place your certainty? What is your true north by which you set your internal compass? When all around you looks shaky and uncertain what is the one thing that is certain in your life? When scandals happen around you in the world what keeps you from giving up hope? Scripture points us to faith in the Gospel as our source of certainty.
Philippians 1:6 in the ESV says, “6And I am sure of this, that he who began(H) a good work in you(I) will bring it to completion at(J) the day of Jesus Christ.
Paul has confidence in the good work that God has started. He said, “I am sure of this…” He had no doubt about it. God has started something that He will carry out to completion “at the day of Jesus Christ”.
James 5:7-8 in the ESV says, “7Be patient, therefore, brothers,[a] until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives(N) the early and the late rains. 8You also, be patient.(O) Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord(P) is at hand.
These verses are found at the beginning of a section on suffering. Often when we suffer we are most tempted to let our faith unravel. Circumstances distract us and we feel our faith deflate with each distraction that comes. But James says be patient! We are to be like a farmer who knows that because he planted a seed he will reap fruit. The farmer has an established heart because he knows the truth about growing and harvesting. He has faith. We likewise should not allow what is going on around us to rob us of our faith in the Gospel. Verse 8 says to establish our hearts. To establish your heart is to believe the Gospel. Believe that Jesus came in the flesh, obeyed the Father on your behalf, became sin for you, died in your place as your substitute, cancelled the written code that stood opposed to you, freed you from the power of sin and death, and will return just as He left to clothe you with your new immortal body! Wow what good news! It is all based on Him not us or anyone else. That is the power behind the Gospel. It hinges completely on Jesus and Him alone. That is what our hearts should be established on.
So I ask you again, on what do you place your certainty? Do you place your faith in people, your self efforts, or circumstance which can change tomorrow? Or have you established your heart by believing the Gospel? You can be sure of this, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.