1 John 3:19-24
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
John gives us today more assurance of what it means to have confidence in what we believe.
1. We rest in His presence. When we are a true believer and know God through Jesus, we can truly rest. We can rest in His peace and in His promises. We can rest because He has done everything we need for life and salvation.
2. If we feel condemnation, it is not from God. Meaning if we get discouraged for something we have done, God is bigger than our bad decisions. While we may feel guilt if we do wrong, there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)
3. We don't have condemnation, but confidence. Not confidence in ourselves, but confident in what God has done for us. And in this confidence we can pray boldly and expectantly.
4. The source of our assurance is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gift given to us from God. The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit and is a down payment guaranteeing our future inheritance. (See both Ephesians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 1:22)
John knew that these young believers would need these assurances when they stumbled, as we all do. But he wanted to remind them that their confidence is in what He had done for them, by sending His Son. And when Jesus left He sent the Holy Spirit to continue to guide us them for the rest of their lives.
What causes you to doubt your faith? What troubles your heart and makes it restless? Have you learned how to rest in His presence? God doesn't want us to live wondering if He loves us. God wants our obedience for sure, but most of all He wants us!