This past weekend, I was listening to the AFC Championship football game on the radio between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. While there are a lot of issues surrounding that game right now, such as mental lapses by players, penalties that were called, or rules that should be changed, there was a comment made in the fourth quarter by the radio play-by-play broadcasters that I found very interesting.
Late in the fourth quarter there was a moment when the referees went to check the accuracy of the game clock. The head referee came on and said, “the clock is correct.” A simple comment with no apparent significance led to a conversation about assurance. One radio broadcaster responded to this announcement by saying he “likes this assurance. I wish we could have this kind of assurance in everyday life.” His partner answered, “You’re asking a lot!”
This brief conversation got me thinking. We all like assurances. For example, we want to know that our cars run. We want to know our paychecks are coming and will clear the bank. We want to know that are apps on our smartphones are working properly, hence the need for updates. We want all our technology to work the way it is supposed to, at least I do. We want our children to behave themselves and get good grades. We want our sandwich made correctly at a fast food joint. We want our coffee made correctly. We want our packages to arrive at the appropriate time. We want to know that we are loved and appreciated. We want to be told that we are doing a good job and we are on the right track. We want our life to mean something.
The unfortunate truth is this world has difficulty giving us assurance. The theory of evolution cannot be definitively proven. Our government cannot be relied on. Laws do not prevent crimes from being committed. Recovery programs do not automatically ‘heal’ or cure people from addictive behaviors. Leaders cannot be trusted to act and live in integrity. People cannot trust each other. And the arena of sports certainly cannot be counted on – apparently no one really knows what a catch is in football, balls and strikes cannot be called properly in baseball, and travels cannot be called in basketball. Coaches are not responsible for their other coaches nor their players. The right teams cannot be selected for the college football playoffs. And, the church is not much better.
The reality is that we live in a world full of uncertainty. Even faith and religion have an air of uncertainty. So maybe assurance in everyday life is too much to ask for, but I would argue that there is one thing we can have assurance in and it is not religion. It in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This relationship emphasizes that there is a God who created this world and loves you and me. He loves us so much that He died for us. He has so much power that He rose from the dead.
Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is something that requires us to believe in something despite not being able to physically, tangibly identify it or touch it. Despite this declaration, people debate all the time about whether God exists, whether Jesus actually rose from the grave, whether the Bible is God’s Word, whether the Bible is true, or whether heaven and hell are real places that exist. We want concrete answers. We want proof. We want assurance.
Christians love to say “have faith” as if somehow that cures everything. While I believe that faith is crucial, God has given us proof. There are literally thousands of prophecies that have been fulfilled (everything from Israel being a nation today to Jesus being the Messiah to current events today about world alliances and efforts). Archaeology has proven the existence of nations, cities, and people. History books support the Biblical narrative. Science has now proven things the Bible has declared for centuries.
Assurance is something we all want. God has that assurance. I encourage you to submit your life to Him and His will and His word, and you will find the joy of His assurance. Remember, He has come to give us life and life to the full…which includes assurance. Anyway, I was just thinking…