By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 1 John 3:19-24
Have you ever doubted your salvation? I don’t mean doubting whether God exist or not, but wondering if God has forgiven you. I have. There have been times in my life that I have wondered if there is not some undisclosed sin that I am hiding from God and not asking for forgiveness. Or there is a sin that I am continually struggling with and I seem to not be able to overcome it. It is at these times that Satan cracks his knuckles and begins to really work on trying to discourage me. I believe he whispers to my soul that I am lost and that God does not love me. Or he tells me that I will never overcome the sin in my life and will never measure up to God’s standards. This can be very discouraging.
Satan is a thief and a liar. Satan lies to us in order to steal our joy in Christ. God is not waiting for me to make a mistake in order to punish me. God is not recording my mistakes in a ledger titled “Times When Chris Has Disappointed Me.” How do I know this? In 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Paul says, ” Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” John will tell us later in 1 John that “God is Love.” So God is patient and kind. He is not arrogant, rude, selfish, irritable, or resentful. It is the resentful part that gives me hope. God does not hold our sins against us, but we must confess them and ask for forgiveness.
John tells us in 19-24 that our heart condemns us, but God is greater. When we stumble and struggle with sin, God places in our heart a desire to correct our relationship with Him. God is patient, so He is not going to give up on us. He knows everything that we are struggling with and He walks with us as we work to overcome the flesh and the world. As we overcome sin in our lives we will get to the point where our heart is not longer condemning us and we can be confident that we can ask God and will receive what we ask for. We will keep His commandments, which are to believe in Christ and love one another. As we do this, we abide in God and His Spirit is in us. Sin no longer will rule our lives and we will have a confidence and joy that Satan will not be able to steal it from us.
Father, please show me where sin has a foothold in my life and help me to overcome the flesh. Give me the joy of thy salvation and help me to recognize the voice of Satan and ignore his lies. Abide with me and help me to be passionately in love with Christ and to passionately love those around me with a love that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for being patient and kind with me and for not holding my sins against me. Help me Father to rest in the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the flesh and the world. In the name of Christ. Amen.