There are many things in life that can be classified as uncertain, but among the uncertainty there are some things that we can be confident about. Dr. Melvin Worthington talks about the dividends of becoming a Christian, he suggests that Biblical conversion makes a significant change in those who experience it. Are these certainties that you can identify with? You will need to roam all over the Bible to compare all the verses, but it will be a worthwhile exercise.
HONEST LIVING. (Acts 6:3; Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21)
HOPEFUL LIVING. (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 2:13)
HAPPY LIVING. (John 13:17; Acts 26:2; Romans 14:2)
HELPFUL LIVING. (Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:16; 2 Corinthians 1:11)
HOLY LIVING. (1 Peter 1: 15-16; 2 Peter 1:21; Colossians 1;27)
HALLOWED LIVING (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Peter 1:1)
HUMBLE LIVING (1 Peter 5:5-6; James 4:6; Proverbs 16:19)
I must admit I found some of the texts difficult to equate with his title, but it certainly got me thinking. I agree in principle that we should be expressing all those traits.
In my Encounter with God study notes I have been reading about Gideon. He is influenced by the oppression that he and the Israelites are under. The result is that he is lacking in confidence and cannot believe that he is good enough for God to be able to use him. God graciously encourages Gideon and we read in Judges 6: 24-26:
24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of[c] altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”
Gideon, growing in confidence built an altar in honour of God, but then he is instructed to deal with the negative as well as the positive. He was told to tear down the altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole and replace it with a ‘proper kind of altar’. In order for Gideon to be able embrace an Honest, Hopeful, Happy, Helpful, Holy, Hallowed and Humble life, he needed to relinquish his old way of life. His old way of life was influenced by worldly standards and was not fully committed to God and his ways.
Personally, I can look back over my life and identify with hindsight that the times I have struggled have been when I try to live with a foot in both camps. Jesus says we cannot serve two masters. I need to put my complete trust in God, turning from sin and submitting to him as Lord. It is then that I walk with Christian Certainty.