Success, we all want it. With very few exceptions, each of us wants to succeed in whatever we do; nobody likes to fail. But what assurances do we have for success? Is success just a gamble? A roll of the dice? Fear of failure can be a strong deterrent to moving forward.
So what should our view be, as believers in Jesus Christ; as reborn new creations washed clean and redeemed by His sacrifice? Perhaps simply having the question spelled-out in this way just opened your perspective somewhat. And we’re going to continue today by having a discussion regarding how Jesus Christ has given you the assurance of success. Let’s get started!
There’s a well-known but somewhat misunderstood statement made by Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8, where he says something very interesting, let’s read it:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:
For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
I invite you to consider these statements by Jesus here. People have dissected these verses for years trying to find the hidden meaning between Ask, seek and knock; wondering about secret codes or other things beneath the surface of the words. Today however, I would like to share with you a different perspective – one that isn’t hidden at all, but is right there on the surface.
Consider what Jesus is plainly saying here… Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. These are statements of success. Guaranteed success. Think about this; meditate on this. I’ve known people in the past who were convinced that if they knock, the door would be slammed in their face. If they sought for something, that they would be left wandering around and frustrated. And likewise, they believed that if they asked for something, they would be refused, laughed at or ridiculed. This was their worldview. This was the energy that was emanating from them… and it had an affect on every area of their lives.
They were so sure of the negative result, that many times they didn’t even bother asking! They never sought after what they wanted! And they never knocked on the doors they came across! The opportunities that God was giving them, went unclaimed.
You see, God is far more generous than we realize. And He often gives us more blessings than we realize, or receive; simply because we never claim them as ours. We never receive them because our hands are not open! And the problem is often our own beliefs.
Put simply my friend, we typically do not believe in the generosity of God, nor even what Jesus says in these verses here. And I like to say that when Jesus repeats Himself back-to-back, it’s because He knew that we would have trouble believing what He said. And here we do indeed see that He repeats Himself in verse 8, when He says: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
I invite you to consider the fact that Jesus would not have said this even once – let alone twice – unless He meant it. And since He said it, and meant it, that it is true. His words are true regardless of our negative thoughts and feelings. His words are true regardless of the reports of the world that try to tell us otherwise. And His words are true, all the time, every time.
Standing in Christ (He is Your Assurance)
You may be saying to yourself right now: Yes, I know that Jesus speaks the truth; but how do I know that this is true for me, personally?
I can understand and sympathize with that question. I have had it myself before, along with many other people. Especially when it comes to the miraculous, people have difficulty believing it for themselves.
Sure, they can believe that Jesus healed those around Him in ancient times, but to say that He will you or your loved ones is often more challenging. However all of this becomes much easier to accept and receive if we understand one simple concept regarding the finished work of Christ. Read along with me, 2nd Corinthians 1:19-20:
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yes and no, but in him was yes.
For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.”
These two verses address one of the largest areas of doubt and stumbling for many believers, and that is: Maybe God doesn’t want to fulfill His promise to me. Or maybe the answer is ‘no’.
I hear both of these quite often, and many believers have latched onto the idea that God can simply refuse to deliver on His promises on a whim; as if His mood is as unstable as the wind.
As we examine these verses however, we can find that this common idea about God is actually anti-Gospel, and entirely unscriptural. Notice what these verses are telling us:
The Son of God, Jesus Christ who was preached among you… is not yes and no… The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a doctrine of maybe yes and maybe no! His promises are not clouded by uncertainty, but as it says in verse 19, in Him is yes! This is something that we truly need to learn and grab-hold of and never let go. The true Jesus is not a Jesus of doubt, or confusion – never being sure of what you have or what He will give you. Verse 20 continues by saying that all the promises of God in Him [Jesus Christ] are yes and Amen.
The word “Amen” means so be it. It is an agreement, and sort-of like the finalizing handshake. And we see here that all – every single one – of God’s promises are a yes, and amen in Christ Jesus.
Do you find that difficult to accept and believe? Some people have expressed great disdain at this idea saying that God wouldn’t do that because He gets glory from the suffering of people. And it all sounds very holy and super-righteous… until we stop to consider again what the scriptures actually are saying to us. The purpose, and the reason why all of the promises of God are absolutely sure for us today, without any guessing, or doubt, or fear, is because we are in Christ! Ephesians 5:30 says that we are members of His flesh and of His bones (there’s physicality there). And 1st Corinthians 6:17 even goes as far as to say that we are one with Him in spirit. So both physically and spiritually we are in union with Christ Jesus.
So when it comes to His promises, you can be as confident and sure of a “yes” answer from God for you, as Jesus Christ is.
And look at what the result of all those delivered promises is, at the end of 2nd Corinthians 1:20: to the glory of God by us.
My friend, when we walk in the fulfilled promises of God, that is what gives God glory, because it testifies of the finished work of Jesus Christ! Every single promise is yours today, because Jesus paid with His own broken body and shed blood to give it to you! And the fulfillment of those promises in your life, testifies of what He accomplished and gives Him glory; exactly as the verse states.
I encourage you today to step out in faith, knowing that all of God’s promises are yours in Christ, and He is your absolute assurance of success.