"For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name and having ministered and still ministering to the saints, and we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end that you may not be sluggish but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:10
I had occasion recently to talk with someone about the trials of their life. She was overwhelmed by the burdens she was carrying and was beginning to doubt God's salvation, God's love, and God's grace in Christ toward her.
In the midst of such human suffering it is difficult to remember that our trials are given to us as tests to prove His love, to prove His power on our behalf. He is the God who parted the Red Sea and has raised the dead. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
Rather than leading us toward doubt, God brings trials and sufferings to show us that we are Christians! In times of trial and suffering He is maturing our faith. And since it is God who is allowing our trials and difficulties, we are to be diligent. We are to endure. We are to be patient for the result is the full assurance of hope.
Trials are the very crucible in which assurance is formed.
“…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”2 Corinthians 4:8-9
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38
Paul suffered much hardship and many trials after his conversion to Christ. He is the author of both of the above passages! God allowed Paul to be afflicted, perplexed, and persecuted and Paul says I'm convinced; I am absolutely convinced that none of these things can separate us from God!
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, for your sake we are being put to death all day long, we were considered as sheep to the slaughter, but in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us, I am convinced." Romans 8:35
God allows awful things to come into our lives, but He will not allow us to be overcome or worn down to the point where we walk away from our faith. There is no trial, or suffering that can take away a believer’s salvation. He keeps His people.
It was Paul’s experiences of tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, and death that assured him of the security of his salvation. None of his circumstances stole his assurance. Paul tells us that he has been through it all and rather than being discouraged or having his confidence shaken he was convinced.
The Psalmist makes note of God’s faithfulness and our assurance of secure salvation in the midst of adversity. Look up these verses after you finish reading today’s post:
Psalm 40:11; Psalm 18:35-36; Psalm 54:4l; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 119:116-117; Psalm 32:7
Jude also reminds us that God will hold us fast, even during our times of trial and adversity and suffering:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy Jude 1:24
I look forward with great anticipation to that day!