Philippians 4:11-13 “11 I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. 12 I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough. 13 I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.”
Worry is a built-in part of our makeup, isn't it? When finances are tight, we worry, or we worry when the car breaks down. We just don't have it in the budget, how will everything get paid for? We worry about our children, are we doing everything right to raise them properly to fit into society, past those years in school, are they walking with God? We worry about our health our family’s well-being, our parents. We worry about friendships, jobs, the weather. Is there enough time to do everything? Another worry that eats at us is, am I good enough for God? Will I actually be in heaven?
With so much going on in life you have probably wondered how there are those who seem to have it all figured out and life for them seems worry and stress free. How do they seem to have it all together? What's their secret and how can I get it? Then there are those who seem to have found the key to the trials, temptations, and battles in their life. How can anyone be so calm when the devil is on the prowl seeking to destroy?
Take a moment to honestly answer this question. If you died today, would you go to heaven when Jesus comes again? Take a moment to answer that. I've asked this question to others and the responses come back, ‘I'd like to believe I'll be there’; ‘No one knows that but God’; ‘I'm not sure’; ‘If God chooses me to be’; ‘I can't answer that’. Have you heard these or maybe some others? Perhaps you've said them, or something like them. I used to answer people the same way, but I've learned something. When asked ‘will you be in heaven?’ My answer “Absolutely!”
Why do you think we need to answer that way? When we follow Jesus it's a simple equation. God's law = love and love = God. Therefore, if law = love and love = God then God = law, right.
1 John 4:7-8 “7 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
When we choose Jesus, we have been given an absolute promise, Salvation in Him- 1 John 5:11-13. If you have chosen Jesus and follow his law and daily let the Holy Spirit lead and turn from sin there should be no doubt but a blessed assurance you will be in heaven when Jesus returns, no worries, God has promised us throughout scripture. John 6:47; John 3:16-17; Acts 16:30-32; Romans 10:9-13 just to name a few.
Follow Jesus, talk with Jesus, study the Bible. Daily spend time with Jesus and the desires of this world will fade and you will find the reassurance that you are saved.
But how do we face all our trials and not lose that faith, our hope? How can we worry/stress less and resist the attacks of Satan? No worries mate, the Bible has given us the answers. You have chosen Jesus, but did you know He has chosen you too and with that comes a wonderful assurance. We've talked about it before but it's worth repeating. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 “3 He will say, “Listen, Israel! Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Don’t lose your courage or be afraid. Don’t panic or be frightened, 4 because the Lord your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.” Romans 8:31 “So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.”
We don't have to face this world, our trials, the devil alone. God not only promises to be with us, but He promises to lead the charge.
“Oh, if it was that simple. You don't understand all I have to face. You don't know my worries, my stressful days.” Well, you're right, no one else understands what you go through. No one except our living Savior and He has shown you the simple answer. We are the ones who complicate it. God simply says, ‘Follow me and let Me handle the rest.’
I still struggle at times myself and I let little things worry me, but the more I turn to Jesus, the more I believe He will take care of things and He has my life in control (even when I feel out of control), the easier it is to say, ‘no worries, mate’.
It won't always be easy, and some battles will be harder than others. We will be left with a few scars along the way. But the scars left on the palms of Jesus’ hands, engraving our name so we can have the assurance of Salvation far outweigh what Satan can do to us.
So, today as those trials come and worry creeps in, claim Jesus and say, “No worries, mate. I have the blessed assurance from God. I claim Jesus, my Salvation is promised, and my daily battles face my God who has promised to take care of me.”
I hope you had time to find extra Bible reading as we went through the book of James and hopefully the study guide helped you along the way. I have found that if I want to know deep, lasting joy, I have to truly know Christ. So we are going to continue further studies through scripture and see what God is teaching us.
But spiritual depth isn’t simply about knowledge (a common misconception), but about everyday life and relationships. And where better to begin than reflecting on how to have deeper joy in Christ? And that can be found in 1 John. The subject matter is simple and straightforward: truth (right doctrine), obedience (right living), and love (right relationships). The cyclical structure of the book invites deeper reflection on these themes. And the letter’s original purpose was to strengthen and assure new believers.
Let's begin with 1 John 1:1-4, four simple verse yet so much can be packed into them. Again I will leave a link through each lesson as we read and you can follow us through our walk or you can read them on your own and let the Holy Spirt guide you but I know these simple studies can help expand our learning experience as they will shine some new light on the verses and ask deep questions into what we are learning about and about yourself and your walk with God. Let's begin.
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