Summary: This messages focuses on our assurance in Christ Jesus.
I received this story (a Cherokee legend) in an email and I thought I would share it with you. Some of you may have already read this before. “Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian’s youth’s rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a man. He cannot tell the other boys of his experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kind of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook the stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man. Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.”
Consider the fact that we too are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. Just because we cannot see God does not mean He is not there. “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
This morning I want to share with you a few thoughts on the subject of “Blessed Assurance”. The assurance we have that God is with us, protecting and guiding us through every situation. As a reference point for this message, I want to use the song “Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby. When we have this type of assurance that no matter what we face God will handle it, we do not look for what many call “luck.” Luck is something that happens by chance and I personally do not believe that my life is a chance. I believe God is watching over me and He is in the driver’s seat and I am the passenger. I would struggle giving God praise for luck. So as I live my life on this earth, regardless of the situation I may find myself in, even when I am stressed or worrying which I try not to do, I have the blessed assurance that God will see me through it.
I watched the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” In that movie, one of the leading characters (Kathy Bates I think) was a woman going through an “emotional / self identity crisis”. When she finally began to realize the strength within her, she began to act on that strength. Where before she was very timid and let people run over her, she became a woman who stood up for herself. In one scene of the movie she was waiting on someone to pull out of a parking space so she could pull in. As she got ready to pull in, another young lady in a smaller car pulled into the spot ahead of her. When she told the younger woman she was waiting for that spot, the younger woman remarked something to the point that she was too old and slow – that youth won out. Well Kathy Bates began to ram her car into the young lady’s car, just crashing in the back of it. When the young lady saw what was happening and freaked out, Kathy Bates just smiled at her and said she was older and had more insurance. The insurance provided her with the “assurance” that should she get into an accident that the damage done to her car and the other car would be taken care of. We all have some type of insurance which is basically a guarantee of compensation should we experience a loss of that which was insured. In the movie, Kathy Bates’ insurance gave her the freedom, although definitely wrong, to make a point to the rude young lady who took her parking space.
This is what we experience as Christians when we understand the assurance that we have in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 10:22 says “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” This is the verse that Fanny Crosby based her hymn “Blessed Assurance” on when she wrote it in the latter half of the 19th century. Paul stated that we should have the full assurance of faith – meaning that our faith should be so strong that it guarantees our actions and God’s response. I want to use a few words from the song “Blessed Assurance” to paint this picture.