In Thy Truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
All Thy fullness Thou art pouring
In Thy love and power in me
Without measure, full and boundless,
As I yield myself to Thee.1
- The Text
- The Chapter
- The Confession
- True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it
- by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit, by some sudden or vehement temptation
- by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light
- yet are they never destitute of the seed of God and life of faith
- that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived
- and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.
Romans 8:38–39 (CSB) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light, yet are they never destitute of the seed of God and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.
True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it
Song of Solomon 5:2–6 (CSB) I was sleeping, but my heart was awake. A sound! My love was knocking! Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. For my head is drenched with dew, my hair with droplets of the night. I have taken off my clothing. How can I put it back on? I have washed my feet. How can I get them dirty? My love thrust his hand through the opening, and my feelings were stirred for him. I rose to open for my love. My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh on the handles of the bolt. I opened to my love, but my love had turned and gone away. My heart sank because he had left. I sought him, but did not find him. I called him, but he did not answer.
I did say that you do not have to false conjure up anything to think that the world is against you because Christ has said the world is against you. And not because they didn't vote for your presidential candidate or whatever political stance you want to take. That is not what that means. The Satan, demons, hell, the world, and sin is against you. They are a conquered foes for fire--you are destined unto the kingdom of righteousness.
John 16:33 (CSB) I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
And the Enemy does come to steal, kill, and destroy. When that happens, your faith is going to be shaken to its core.
Listen, friends, you don't have to look for bad to things to happen to you. But the opposite is also true: you cannot see out a life that is protected by all sin and challenges you in no way. That is not real life and that is certainly not the life of a Christian.
Listen, let me speak to a deep fear that some people would never admit aloud: they believe the gospel and they believe the Bible and God and Christ. They believe it all. But they know, deep down, if the life got too difficult. When life came to kick them in the teeth, they don't know if they can keep believing. They don't know if they can keep trusting. They don't know if they can keep going. So they strive real hard to keep themselves isolated for fear of hard things.
All the money, the time, and resources will not keep you insulated from the world. You are welcome to try but it won't be bulletproof.
So now what. Since you know bad things are going to happen, are you going to keep believing the Christ? Are you going to be strong enough?
by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit, by some sudden or vehement temptation
Psalm 51:8–14 (CSB) Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt. God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, and sinners will return to you. Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God— God of my salvation— and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 116:11 (CSB) In my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”
Psalm 77:7–8 (CSB) “Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? Has his faithful love ceased forever? Is his promise at an end for all generations?
Psalm 31:22 (CSB) In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried to you for help.
I thought I was. I was saved in my early thirties. I was zealous and I was passionate. I wanted to do it all. And in my pride, I thought nothing could shake my faith.
But it did. Everything in my Adam born flesh wants to blame the sin of others but to quote the great Jimmy Buffett, "It's my own dang fault." It was the consequences of my own foolishness, pride, and sin that shook my own faith. And it felt as soon as I was saved, not five years later, I was already tapped out. I was already done. I was already ready to give up.
I have said this with with my lips, "I might go to church. But I am going to show up, sit on the back row, don't talk to anybody, and live my life as I please." Quote me on this as I said this outloud, "I just want to be a lukewarm Christian." Foolishness. I said that with my own mouth knowing fully well that the Lord would vomit me out his mouth.
by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light
Psalm 30:7 (CSB) LORD, when you showed your favor, you made me stand like a strong mountain; when you hid your face, I was terrified.
I wanted that? That is how dark it got. I wanted to do nothing but sin as I please. I just stopped caring. I was done. I didn't care about finishing the race. I wasn't built for it. I was not strong enough.
1 John 3:9 (CSB) Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because his seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.
Luke 22:32 (CSB) But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But the Infinite Almighty God of infinity grace, who knew me in my sin before the creation of the heavens and the earth, made a covenant with his Son to rescue me from the death to life with the life and death of his Son. What I foolishly forgotten for a moment in time is that I can think I can do as I please. But silly boy--I have been bought with a price. That price was his only begotten Son hung on that cursed tree. I don't get to do as I please. I don't get sin all the more as I please. I belong to God forever. Run as I might. Shaken to my core. Wanting to crawl of into a bottomless pit and die. But even when I had forgotten, "Christ's love for me was deeper still."2
that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived
Psalm 42:5–11 (CSB) Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God. I am deeply depressed; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your billows have swept over me. The LORD will send his faithful love by day; his song will be with me in the night— a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?” My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.
Are you born again? Have you been resurrected from death in your sins and trespasses? Have you been made alive in Christ? If the answer is yes, you were too weak, too frail, too sinful, too wicked to come to Christ and stay in Christ.
My God knew that! God know that we are not like him. We are made from dirt, for pete sakes. Make it make sense. How can created beings, weak in heart, mind, strength is going to go to God, one, and two, stay connected to God? All the way to the end of our lives? How is that possible? That is impossible!
Lamentations 3:26–31 (CSB) It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young. Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him. Let him put his mouth in the dust— perhaps there is still hope. Let him offer his cheek to the one who would strike him; let him be filled with disgrace. For the Lord will not reject us forever.
But the Triune Almighty All Holy All Righteous God has us quickly and securely. We call things on this earth, "perfect" which they are not. Those cheesy grits from Carson's are "perfect". Yet, whatever we deem as perfect, God is most perfect. I know that is bad grammar but with God it is the only way we can describe him. Most perfect.
Since the Most Perfect cannot commit sin, he cannot lie. We are such weak, depraved creatures, we can and do sin. God is so powerful and good and holy, he never has to sin to get something done. He can just do it. And to save us to himself, he did it all by sending his Son who did it all and he died for all of his people so that all of his people--you and me--would and are most perfectly saved to him forever and ever.
We are going to do a lot of dumb stuff in our life. Satan and his demons are gunning for us. The sin of the world and our own sin will take us down for the count. Battered and bruised and hurt and torn and weak and crushed as we are. But Christ has us. He has us. He gave his life so that we would live. We are going to make it because the Most Perfect God most perfectly saved us from our sins and death forever.
William Rees, “Here is Love,” 1876.
Corrie Ten Boom.