1John 5 Do you have any doubts? Do you worry? Take heart dear reader, for John shares the secret to quiet assurance. It is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. The Greek word for believe is [pist-yoo’-o], meaning to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in. Did you grasp that last word? Confidence is the foundation of assurance.
Further, John says it is because we are assured we have the confidence to come boldly before the throne of God. We can ask anything according to his will, and God hears what we have longed to share with Him trusting Him who hears and answers. He may not answer how we think it should be answered because our motives may be selfish or improper, but He will answer. We must always remember these wise words from Isaiah: Indeed, my plans are not like your plans. Thus God will answer according to His plan, which is superior to ours.
Will we trust Him? Will we have confidence in Him who knows the end from the beginning?
E.M. Bounds noted: Only God can move mountains but faith and prayer move God
Many of us who study and memorize scripture are familiar with the “8:28” verse in Romans which is a promise that God has made: “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” But there is another “8:28” verse hidden in the log of 1Kings that was prayed by King Solomon. “Answer the desperate prayer your servant is presenting to you today.”
In the NT Jesus told a story of a woman who was desperate and she pleaded for the Lord to have mercy and heal her demon-possessed daughter. In another story, a ruler of the synagogue came before Jesus and pleaded to come and heal his child because she was near death. Or how about this story in Luke 18 about a woman who pleaded and persevered for justice? Jesus told all of these to teach the principle of “8:28.” If we are pleading desperately for a situation to change, for a wayward child, or for a broken marriage or whatever; know this truth: God hears and responds when we come before him in humility. He is in heaven but he hears the cry of his children.
Is there a situation in your life where you are pleading desperately for God to hear and respond favorably? May we pray with you that God hear and respond favorably? Claim this truth: And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. [1John 5:14]
A sunrise is mind boggling and yet we can be confident it will happen tomorrow and the next day and the next. There is one more thing that is even more mind-blowing and that is we can know for certain that if we were to die today we would stand before the heavenly throne and see Jesus in all of His glory. John is proposing that idea to his readers. He is saying you can have mind-blowing confidence because you believed that Jesus is “THE” Christ. It was because of your faith in this claim that you can be confident that you are conquerors of all that comes your way—even death. This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son!
John has written this short little letter to his flock. Over and over he notes “I have written or we are writing.” It is John’s legacy of his love for the flock that he is pastoring. As this letter was passed down through the centuries it is as if we are reading it firsthand. John is writing to us! John says I am taking pen in hand: ch 1:4 “so that our joy may be complete; 2:1 so you may not sin; 2:21 so you know the truth; 2:26 so you can be discerning regarding the deceiver and his workers; 5:13 so you may know that you have eternal life.” All of this is possible because you took a step of faith and believed that Jesus was who He said he was: the Son of God.
All of this is mind boggling but true. It is so simple a child can know it. Do you?
What would be your answer to that question? There more “shamers” amongst us than we want to readily admit. Let’s look at the evidence. The disciples failed to trust Jesus to provide sustenance for the crowd. Is this us too? Do we like the Pharisees look for a sign rather than trust Him? Are we often ungrateful when we see Him work like the healed blind man but fail to stop and say thank you? Are we silent before others when we set our interests on men’s ways rather than on God’s ways?
Jesus asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered “you are the Christ,” yet in the next breath he began to rebuke Christ when He spoke of his suffering to come. Jesus reminded him that his agenda was man’s not God’s. Perhaps that is why right after that Jesus asked: You want to be my follower? Then you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. If you ashamed of me now in this life, I will be ashamed of you in the life to come.
Let’s get personal: When we quench the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit to trust Him; when we fail to give Him the glory it might be because we are ashamed. Today, be quiet before the Holy Spirit and see if any of these are true. If so, seek His forgiveness so that at his appearing you may stand with confidence! [1Jn2]
Yesterday I received an email from a “buddy” who is struggling. How my heart goes out to this person! 1John really spoke to my heart today about the confidence I have in Christ to boldly approach the throne of God for this person.
May I have the privilege of doing the same for you?
Here’s why I believe so strongly in this power. Prayer is the concrete demonstration of my love for others. To not utilize this power is to quench the Spirit, to grieve the Spirit! “OUCH”!!!!!
It seems that today many are not overcomers in regards to sin. How can I walk with them and encourage them? John has the answer in vs 14-17. I can pray over others that they be kept from sin or removed from that sin. John reminds me that “whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.”
The question before me today is this: how committed am I to obedience and prayer for others? John has reminded us over and over, he who says he is born of God loves one another and that means the closest brother or sister to you. Cain asked “ Am I my brother’s guardian?” and the answer is yes, I am my brother’s keeper because I am the beloved, the called, the chosen, the daughter of the very Son of God—I am born again. I have a conquering power that resides within me and that is the Holy Spirit. Drawing upon that power I have thus the confidence to come boldly before the throne of God seeking the face of God for the sin that will grant life and pardon to the one who is caught in the web of deceit by the enemy of their souls. Heb 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. In addition, I have the indwelling presence of The Witness who will pray for me when I feel so burdened that I cannot draw from my inner being even the words to pray. Rom 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.
Thus the practical application for me this day is this: not only to love my brother/sister but to also obey through prayer to bring them to the very throne of God! This is my everyday challenge. What is yours?