For a couple of months I have been struggling with my assurance of salvation on and off. It’s been a good time of growth as I keep on digging deeper into the why and how I am saved.
Now there are a host of reasons why you might struggle with assurance of salvation. Some people struggle with assurance of salvation because of a nagging unrepentant sin in their lives. Because of this nagging sin in their lives they don’t feel good enough or saved. Maybe you’re struggling with this because of a works based mentality. But we all know that we aren’t saved by works. It is not because of our sin that we are going to hell. It is because of unbelief. Therefore it is also not because of a lack of sin that we go to heaven, but because of our belief in Jesus’ work. Now if you’re a believer you will have works that show you are saved. But that is for another time. What I’d like to share is my experience of a lack of assurance of salvation.
I have searched high and low to find out why I’m struggling with my assurance. It’s not because of a lack of works, but rather something similar. It’s the sibling of works based salvation. The reason I have a problem with my assurance is a lack of love. Do I love God enough. What does this sound like? Love base salvation. Which is no different than works based salvation. I don’t love God enough, how can I be saved.
If you read this and you’re struggling with this or if you know someone that struggles with this, here is what I’ve found helpful.
To start off with. We all need to understand that we should consider and examine our love for God. It is an important part of a believers life. Is He your all in all (Matthew 13:45-46). But here is what I struggle with. Not asking if I have love for God. But rather is the quality and quantity of my love enough. The problem with this is that you tend to emphasize on your love for God, instead of focussing on His love for you. It does not mean that your love is irrelevant. It matters a great deal. But it matters in a secondary way.
If you do not focus on the primary love. The love that God showed you by adopting you into His family, then you will start focussing on how well you love Him. And we all know how well we love. Our love is like a roller-coaster.
The key text that is helping me, and I have started memorizing it, is 1 John 4:7-21. We can only love like God does because He loved us first. We can only love Him because before we loved Him, He loved us (1 John 4:10-19). God never based His love for you, on the love you have for Him.
So does your love seem weak? Well look at it from the other side of the coin. Do you have any love for Him? If so, there is an indicator that the small presence of your love for Him tells you that He loves you. Now, I don’t want to stay in this zone of weak love, but it encourages us to pursue Him more. To reach out and know Him more. Praying, asking the Holy Spirit to help us love God with a steady fired up love. Remember before you were saved, you had absolutely no love for God. God the Father loved us before we loved Him. Jesus showed us grace because of the Father’s love, not ours. Let this encourage you as it did me to take up this challenge in showering in the knowledge that God loved us first. And let that help us dig deep in our love for Him.
Tommie van der Walt