Assurance and Protection

Uncertainty as to the future, and discontent with present conditions are the chief features of the world as we know it; and it is not pessimism but the truth that says, no man or group of men, no party, nations or league of nations has any practical remedy for things as they are. We have no intention of wasting our time or space in proving this; we have no need to, for it is being proclaimed from every house top. But it is our intention to urge upon our Christian friends that they need not be uncertain or discontented, for full assurance and satisfaction lie in the knowledge of God — in what He is and what He will give.

He has said, "I AM Alpha and Omega . . . I WILL GIVE unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:6). "I am Alpha and Omega" — the A and the Z. He was the first to speak and He will have the last word about everything. We may rely with an absolute assurance on His word. He has spoken to us in His beloved Son, our Saviour; and His voice has not driven us from His presence trembling with fear, but has drawn us to Him. How could we help believing on Him who sent our Lord Jesus Christ into this world to speak to us His words of salvation, of reconciliation, and eternal life. They have given us a great and sure hope, and we know, having heard and believed them, that the Tabernacle of God, which John saw in vision in this chapter, is our everlasting abode. To dwell with God, who is now not a stranger or an unknown God, but well-known to us in Jesus' love, is our destiny. We are not uncertain.

God will not go back on His Word, for the "I AM" changes not, and He "willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Heb. 6:17-18).

Yet it seems easier to trust about eternity than about time, and many who have no fear as to what lies beyond death are greatly troubled about present circumstances and what tomorrow may bring forth. But this should not be. The word of the Alpha and Omega is surely enough for us. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things." If His love has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us, we cannot doubt Him. He may, and often does, use our circumstances in the way of chastisement, in order that we may be partakers of His holiness and weaned from the world, but He will not leave us nor forsake us as we pass through the trial. Thus has he said, and He will most certainly be faithful to His spoken word. He would deny Himself if He were not. He would not be Alpha and Omega.

To whom can we go but to Him? "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." No matter how well meaning and honest they may be, they are not equal to the unravelling of the universal tangle. And this is because God is not the beginning of their schemes, nor His glory the end of their measures. The world is not ready for the fulfilment of the prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, " and it is because of this that the Christian who sincerely prays that prayer must stand apart from the world and its politics. If he does not, he will be involved in the confusion and uncertainty of the world; but if he trusts in the Lord, he will be kept in peace. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."

It gives great confidence and quietness of spirit to know that God is over all, and that He can, and does, control the waves of evil, saying, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further." And in this confidence the Christian becomes an intercessor on behalf of all men, and is of the greatest service to his day and generation. This is God's will for His children, that "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Tim. 2:1-2). As long as the Church is on earth, God will keep His hand upon affairs and make all things work together for the good of them that love Him. It must always be so, since He is the One who has said, "I am Alpha and Omega."

It is "Alpha and Omega, " whose word is infallible and final, who proclaims, "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." He is the giving God, He delights to give; it is His very nature. He does not withhold His gifts even though men are unthankful and unholy. We praise His goodness as we think of His kindness to men, but what tongue of men or angels can tell the love that led Him to give His Son? This was His "unspeakable gift." Thanks be unto Him for it, for ever.

But the greatest of all gifts did not exhaust His giving. He still gives and must do so for ever. He gives of Himself, not for now, but to the thirsty; For He is Himself surely the fountain of the water of life. And he that drinketh of this water shall never thirst. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that is given unto us." And we do not here separate Father, Son, and Holy Ghost from each other in this infinite outpouring of the fullness of divine love. The Father is the Source, the Son has fully revealed it, and is the channel by whom it has reached us, and the Holy Ghost makes it a living reality to us, who apart from His work in us would be for ever dead to it.

Here is satisfaction, and the heart that knows it could not be discontented even though his poverty were as deep as that of the Son of Man who had not a place to lay His head. What has the world to offer as compared with this? Its best is vanity, and what it gives, it gives with a grudging hand; but here we have heaven's fullness offered freely and the only condition is thirst on the part of the recipient.

Let us thank God that in days of uncertainty and discontent we may rejoice in full assurance and complete satisfaction.