Today’s encouraging word is assuredness.
Merriam-Webster includes these definitions of assured: “characterized by certainty or security; sure that something is certain or true…”1 When our days, our plans, our futures are uncertain, we can hold fast to the certainties of God and live in that assuredness.
Years ago I saw the “Braveheart” movie, based on the story of William Wallace, who spearheaded Scotland’s charge for freedom from England (1297-1305). At the end of the movie there is a moment I have never forgotten. As Wallace (portrayed by Mel Gibson) is being tortured to death, he looks out at the watching crowd and sees the image of his beloved Murron (Catherine McCormack), who had been killed earlier in the movie. At first he only catches glimpses of her face passing through the crowd, her eyes tenderly gazing at him. But just before his life ends, her peaceful, beautiful face is smiling at him with love. She is anticipating their joyous eternal reunion and in doing so, her countenance assures him. And he smiles…
Murron’s serene and smiling image has remained with me. She may have been an angelic vision, but this is how I want to live, how I want to be. I want to so completely trust in the incredible goodness of God that my spirit will shine with serenity, peace and pure joy, even when troubles and trials are all around. I want my presence to be so peaceful and trusting that it will help others to feel the same. I want to be able to walk gently and serenely through turmoil and strife and, with one tender look at another, assure that all will be well.
Could that be one of the best visible witnesses of our faith- to live with the peace and joy found in trusting God’s assuring promises and presence- no matter what our circumstances are? To be confident, peaceful, and courageous- not out of our own strength or character- but from this assuredness that flows from loving God and being loved by God?
~We would freely and generously love others with the assuredness that comes from knowing we are loved.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
~We would walk difficult paths or try brave new adventures with the assuredness that we are never alone.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
~We would work for justice and freedom with the assuredness that yes, we will have trouble, but in Christ we will also have peace.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
~We would face our fears and trials with the assuredness that we are eternal.
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. John 6:47 (NIV)
Oh my, these are difficult, difficult days. Our loved ones, our communities, our country, and our world need people- need us– to walk with them, to serve with love, to face those who threaten, to stand up for those who are oppressed, to provide for those in need, to comfort those who are ill, to bring hope to those who are perishing. To show by our example that God’s love and God’s promises are real and true.
May we walk in faith as assured, non-anxious servants of God- willing to help and challenge and heal and serve and love- in any capacity God calls us to do. When troubles and grief abound, may we look upon another with peaceful, tender love, with the assuredness of God’s goodness, and with the words of Jesus in our hearts: “I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
A Prayer from Teresa of Avila:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance.
It is there for each and every one of you.
Teresa of Avila prayer was found at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/68943-may-today-there-be-peace-within-may-you-trust-that