by David Phelps
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” - Mother Teresa
Actor and martial arts star Jackie Chan performed each of the dazzling stunts in dozens of his films until the late 1990’s, when he began using stunt doubles for the more strenuous scenes. Chan has broken every bone in his body at least once, in addition to receiving numerous other injuries. Ouch! Most of us have broken a bone and we can only imagine the amount of pain he must have experienced during his life. No insurance company in the world will give him a policy; not Allstate, not Prudential, not Hartford, not Lloyd’s of London, not anyone. From the point of view of the insurance companies, the risks are simply too great. Given Chan’s profession, and his “history,” it’s easy to imagine him getting hurt, perhaps even seriously.
We know that risk is a part of life; the only way to avoid risks is to do nothing, and even then we risk missing something. When we do decide to do something, we frequently want “insurance” in case something “goes wrong.” We want to know that someone will make it right and “pick up the pieces” after the event. We’re encouraged to buy “extended warranties” and “protection plans” with major (and sometimes even minor) purchases. I was once encouraged to purchase a “protection plan” that would have added a third to the price of a relatively inexpensive item, not a very good buying decision. We even try to acquire “insurance” for our relationships. Couples enter into marriage with “pre-nuptial agreements” in place in case things don’t “work out.” That way, they reason, they won’t lose anything. But they’ve already lost something by not taking the risk of completely trusting each other, by holding each other at a distance. The only “insurance” against a broken heart is not to love at all, and that's a very high “premium.”
In our walk with God, we don’t have “insurance” but we can have “assurance.” The author of Hebrews writes, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Heb. 6:19a NIV). He goes on to write, “. . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:22 NIV). Our faith is justified by the cleansing of Jesus’ blood (Heb. 10:19) and the anointing of God’s spirit through our baptism. The gospel comes to us “. . . not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” (1 Thes. 1:5b NIV). We can know that God is with us in all situations. Our future is secure and so is our present. If we have been made righteous before God, we can have “. . . quietness and confidence forever.” (Isa. 32:17b NIV). We have assurance of salvation for the present, eternal life for the future, and God's love for all time.
But there are those who don’t have the same assurance we do, who don’t know what tomorrow–or even the rest of today–will bring. They fret about the future, the present, and the past. We know something they don’t. We know God’s promises are true and that we are in God’s care. We know that, while things might look bleak in the present, our future is assured. They need to know it as well. Someone needs to hear the good news that you can speak to him or her. They need someone to tell them about the “blessed assurance” that is ours, and that is free to all who believe. You and I can tell them about the relationship with God that will never disappoint, and the love that will never end. We can share the good news of salvation and the assurance it brings (Heb. 6:9-11).
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
“This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.”
(“Blessed Assurance,” vs. 1)