I struggled for years to find assurance of salvation. As I’ve mentioned in Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, my lack of assurance got to be pretty absurd. I can laugh about it now, but it was humiliating and gut-wrenching at the time. I prayed to receive Jesus literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times. I got baptized—not once, not twice, but four different times. The worst part about it was that I thought I was the only one.
Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart only exists because, as it turns out, I wasn’t alone. “Lack of assurance” is endemic among evangelicals today. But Christians who struggle with assurance can take some small comfort in the fact that we aren’t the first. The entire book of 1 John, for instance, is written to assure believers that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). And tucked into the more gory stories of the book of Judges is a perfect example of the paradox of assurance.
Our old friend Gideon shows us two truths about assurance:
1. God patiently deals with faltering faith.
If you read through Judges, you’ll see God give Gideon assurance after assurance. Each time God reassures Gideon, it does the trick for a little while…but only a little. Gideon’s assurance account is constantly low and in need of funds.
But here’s the beautiful part of it: God keeps reassuring Gideon.