Secure in my faith – 17 October 2022
By Ewald Schmidt
One of the most common question that every person asks along the journey of life is: Who am I? When we reach our teenage phase of life, we have a lot of existential angst. We are continuously comparing ourselves with our peer group and this brings a lot of stress. We can be very hard on ourselves in this phase of life. I am taking the best attributes of my friends and comparing myself to that standard. Doing this, I get the feeling that I am not good enough. I am not as beautiful as A, as clever as B or cannot sing like C. Social media has complicated this even more. Now, I am measuring myself against everybody else’s handpicked moments and wondering why my life is not so spectacular.
This tendency is not limited to our teenage years. As a rural pastor, I often walk alongside people in their final phase of life. When people are weakening and approaching the gates of heaven, I hear the question a lot: Am I really God’s child? Am I really forgiven for all those times I have done wrong? Can I really be sure of God’s mercy?
This is why Romans 8 is such a helpful chapter when we consider our lives in Christ. We have seen in verse 1 that the foundation for my faith is not found in my own performance, not even in my best efforts. My salvation and the forgiveness of my sins are found in Christ alone. When I am by faith “in Christ”, I am no longer under God’s judgement and wrath. In my new relationship through Christ, I am a new creation and I have received the right to call him “Abba, Father”. Our certainty of our identity in Christ is not found in my own good deeds or my own huge faith; it is found in the goodness and mercy of Christ. We are human; we will still make mistakes along the way. Every one of us remains so dependent on the grace of God.
My security in faith lies in God, who has extended his hand towards me, inviting me to journey the path of life with him. The Holy Spirit made it possible for us to hear his call. He helps us to understand God’s word and he convinces us of the truth. The Bible tells us in John 1:12, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” The Holy Spirit confirms, “Yes, I am talking to you!” He reminds us of Jesus’ words in John 6:47: “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” Our certainty in faith lies in Christ, in what he has done for us. The Holy Spirit reminds me: this is who I am! I am God’s child by faith alone. This is his goodness and mercy in my life. He is enough to carry me through!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I am, by faith, a child of God. Help me to remember that when times get tough and I forget who I am. Amen