When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:19
Here we are, mid-way through the autumn and half-way through our study of 1 John, the letter of assurance. We have seen seven tests of assurance, yet 1 John not only provides ways in which we can discern if one is a Christian (thereby bringing assurance) but also devotional encouragements through which he seeks to build his people up in the most holy Faith (Jude 20). The Christian life is a great joy; but as we live it in a broken world filled with trials, doubts, temptations and even difficult things to which Jesus calls us to, these can seem insurmountable. We often require consolations that cheer the soul. There are few other books that surpass 1 John in the imposing demands made on the reader, along with the rich devotional rewards such study brings. To go with these challenges John also gives his readers encouragement:
- The joy found in responding to the Gospel (1:4);
- The promise of forgiveness through the confession of sin (1:9);
- Christ, the believer’s Advocate (2:1-2);
- General encouragements (2:12-14);
- A future hope in the New Heavens and New Earth (2:17)
- The gift of the Holy One (Holy Spirit) who keeps, guides and teaches Christians (2:20); and
- The love of the Father, through Jesus, for His children (3:1).
So if your cares happen to be many, hope on these promises, and may they be a consolation to your souls in times of many cares.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,