In our world, one of the most certain things seems to be uncertainty. Everything can seem elusive, a shadow or mirage that vanishes when we try to approach it. That’s why for me, the certainty that I have found in the life God has given me is one of the things I’m most thankful for.
Here are some incredible words of truth. If you’re a skeptic or atheist, this may be incomprehensible to you. But for those with a personal knowledge of the God of Abraham, they are glistening truths. It’s from King Solomon, from around 900 BC. He said,
“Have not I written to you excellent things in councils and knowledge? That I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you might answer the words of truth to them that send to you?” (Proverbs 22.20 & 21)
Like so many passages from the Word of God, this is like a cluster of jewels, set in an ornament. But the word that stands out to me is “certainty”. What a priceless thing that is.
Most people have heard of “believing in God”. You’re supposed to do that, right? But what about that? Have you ever met someone and they said they “believe” in God? But you just had the gut feeling that they were pretty weak in whatever they meant by “believe”. Actually, “believe” in our times can sometimes mean not much more than “think”. People can say “I believe so” when you asked them a question.
Well, sometimes people have that kind of faith. Jesus asked one man if he believed that Jesus could do the miracle he’d asked Him to do. The man said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) And the Lord did, He healed the man’s son. Maybe that’s why it says of Jesus, “A bruised reed He shall not break or smoking flax He will not quench.” (Matthew 12:20) Jesus didn’t condemn and cast out that man because of his admitted wavering between faith and doubt.
But that’s not the condition the Lord wants us to remain in. More often the word “believe” is used in the Bible. But sometimes another word is used, “know”. In English this is a much stronger word and it’s what the Lord wants us to have. In I John 5:13 it says, “These things have I written to you that believe on the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the Son of God.”
At the beginning of Luke’s gospel, when he was explaining why he was writing it, he said, “It seemed good to me… to write to you… so that you might know the certainty of the things in which you have been instructed.” (Luke 1:3 & 4) Not just “believe” but “know”. That’s the kind of certainty He wants us to have and that we can come to have in Him.
What’s the difference between the belief of “believe” and the certainty of “know”? If you “know”, you’re no longer wavering. You might get tempted to doubt. The temptations of doubt might fly over your head like dark evil birds. But you shoo them away; they never make a nest in your hair. You don’t give place to the devil to entertain alternatives to the truth you’ve been given from God.
It doesn’t make you strident and dogmatic because you also have the fruits of the Spirit which are full of love, humility and kindness. But it’s like Peter said, you’ve been “stablished, strengthened, and settled”. ( I Peter 5:10) Like a marriage, you aren’t looking for anyone else. You’ve found what you were looking for and you’re “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10) because you are complete in His truth.
And it’s a wonderful thing. In a sense, you really aren’t searching anymore. At least you aren’t searching for the truth because you know you have found it and it’s found you. Maybe that’s why it says that we have “peace that passes understanding”.(Philippians 4:7)
Some things are just over. Paul said “I know whom I believe and am convinced that He is able to keep me against that day”, ( II Timothy 1:12) a day of temptation or confusion or seeming despair. But he didn’t say he believed in that verse; he said he knew.
In this world of confusion, a world without absolutes, a world where atrocities grow grosser and more prevalent every day, it’s wonderful that the certainty we have in the Lord is like that rock that Jesus said we could build our houses on. Not on the shifting sand of this world and its knowledge and values. But on the eternal truths of God and the certainty that we have in Him. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but My Words shall never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
Certainty. Absolutes. Steadfast eternal pillars and beacons that we have from God to guide us through the shadows of this life and into the boundless beauties of the eternal world to come.