"What people who are saved, but who don't feel saved, need to know is that their salvation does not depend upon how they feel but upon what Christ has done for them. What Christ has done is summarized in the thirty-sixth question of the (Westminster) Shorter Catechism. the assurance of our salvation, the love of God, and our progress in the Christian life are depicted as the fruit of God's work on our behalf. We must look outside of ourselves to what Christ has done to rest assured in these benefits." Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
After reading this article "Basking in the Benefits" where the above paragraph is from, I couldn't help but think about how important it is to know what we believe and why we believe it. The American Church is so diverse, you could shop for a church for weeks, months and years and not find one that suits you, if you did not set a criterion for which you will even consider becoming a part of a local body of believing Christians, never mind shopping for one.
The article goes on to say,
"This particular question and its answer reminds us of the precious truth that the work of Jesus Christ is the ground of our assurance, the proof of God's love for us, and the sure sign that God intends to finish that good work that He has already begun in us. (Phil 1;6)"
We are the sheep of the Good Shepherd and it some ways we are stupid, trust our feelings instead of the Truth and we need to be reminded. C.S. Lewis has written in one of his books that it is not so much that we need to be taught as it is we need to be reminded. Reminded that it is Jesus Christ who justifies, adopts and sanctifies. That as His child, I am dearly loved. Obedience brings freedom to live by the Spirit and the list could go on.
These days I am in search of the truth about God, His Word, The Gospel, and Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, what people are for and what God would have me do as I near the end of the race called parenthood. I am thirsty for His Grace and I want to know the truth, so that I can make headway in one of the most if not the most important endeavor in this life and that is to love my fellow man. Knowing what I believe about God and Man, may be the avenue in which the Love of God can flow through me and spill out on to my fellow human beings. It takes effort on my part but I am totally dependent on God. The results are in His Hands not mine.
So my devotional this morning is a urging me to remember that "The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end." (answer to the Q36.) We can run and not grow weary as long as I am dependent on God and not on myself and my feelings.
I guess I am just a realist who doesn't believe in feel good Christianity that may try to tell me that if I am not feeling good then perhaps I am not a child of the living God. Life does not always feel good. Sometimes you find yourself riding the subway and it feels like you will never get off or see the light of day again, but being in good company, enjoying the ride anyway and knowing that yes, the train will let you off without paying another fair and soon you will feel the wind at your back.