Trust and Assurance

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Thank you once again for your many comments and encouragements. I will take one more blog to share things learned in this six-week ordeal. 

I had gone several days to be with mother in the hospital from breakfast to supper, then it was suddenly time to make a decision about rehab. The hospital lady gave us a list of places within reasonable proximity of our house.

With minimal time to check, I chose three possibilities. One had no bed available. Within half an hour, here came a representative from each of the other two places with brochure in hand. The brochures were turned over with the reps’ phone numbers on the back. I studied each, not really looking at the front.

I felt like I was at a crossroad, not knowing which way to turn.

Just then I got a text from the memory care director at the place where mom had been living. She strongly recommended one the the two places I held in my hands.

Just to be sure I got the message, the Lord had me turn over to the front of that brochure. There was the smiling face of Art Boone, a family friend from our days in Somerset. It was as though the Lord said, “This is the place!”

Fast forward another three weeks. Since this was another transition, I was going everyday to help mother adjust and do what I feared the aides weren’t doing for her. I began to wean myself away slowly as I tried to discern what might be next steps for her. Many of you offered advice and encouragement through prayer. 

One comment lingered with me. “Perhaps discernment is more about trust.”

On Oct. 1, the devotional book I’ve been using said (as though Jesus is speaking), “I want you to relax today. It’s easy for you to get so focused on your goals that you push yourself too hard—and neglect your need for rest.”

On Oct. 3, (stroke day) my devotion started out, “My judgments are unsearchable, and my paths are beyond searching out. This is why trusting me is your best response.

Oct. 5 began, “I want you to have no fear of bad news. The only way to accomplish this feat is to have steadfast trust in Me.”

Oct. 10, “A troublesome problem can become a idol in your mind. If you constantly think about something—pleasant or unpleasant—more than you think about me, you are practicing a subtle form of idolatry.”

…we take every thought and make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

Ouch! Do you know how humbling it is for the queen of worry to come to grips with the idea that this worry is idolatry?

The Lord has given me so many lessons in trust through my life, but every now and then He has to give me refresher courses. Thankfully, He turns right around and gives assurances.

We had one more decision to make as rehab was coming to an end—where to go next. It was possible to stay in the place where she presently had rehab though it was 25 minutes from our house. Other places closer had no rooms available. But watch God work.

On a Saturday morning, we were on our way to gather box loads of things from where she had lived earlier to bring to the rehab place when a director called from a place eight minutes away from our house. They had a room open up! We had literally just pulled out of the driveway. So we drove first to the new facility. By Thursday, we moved all the furniture and Friday we moved mother.

We have more days of adjustment ahead in yet another new place, but God calls us to trust and to look for His assurances (and not to worry!)

~ Joyce ~

“Blessed Assurance” – Guest Writer

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

 Speaking of heart-warming moments (last two blogs), I invited Dr. Rusty Hoffman as guest writer this week. He shares memorable moments  shortly before his father-in-law’s death.  Rev. Gerald McNeely served as a missionary in Spain for many years. Hear Rusty’s thoughts…  

We sat beside the bedside as he slept deeply. His wife told him again and again how much she loved him.

Suddenly, he overcame previous confusion and agitation by speaking boldly with phrases that sounded like a sermon. Then he began singing, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine. We joined him on the chorus, This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!

When we finished, he said, “That wasn’t too bad.”

What a precious moment for me and the hospital staff in the room.

Later, while meditating on that moment, I was struck by how profoundly the lyrics capture the essence of our faith and how appropriate that Gerald wanted to proclaim this message as he had done all his life. It came from the very core of his being with an urgency and force that amazed me.

The assurance comes from knowing Jesus in a relational way: Jesus is mine!

Once one knows and submits, then God reveals more to the believer. From perfect submission comes perfect delight.

These revelations are experienced with many senses:

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!

Visions of rapture now burst on my sight:

Angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Knowing, owning, committing, and submitting to Jesus brings an overall understanding of the salvation message of the Bible in these four marvelous phrases:

Heir of salvation,

Purchase of God,

Born of His Spirit,

Washed in His blood.

Heir of salvation: We are sons and daughters of our Creator, brothers and sisters in Christ. We receive the promises given to Abraham and his descendants, including the promise of salvation. (Galatians 3:14, 29, Ephesians 3:6)

Purchase of God: As a slave is purchased and redeemed or set free by a generous master, Christ’s sacrifice purchased our salvation. He paid the ransom for our bondage to sin and all can share in this freedom. (l Peter 1:18-19, l Timothy 2:5-6, Revelation 5:9)

Born of His Spirit: All people were created by His Spirit with Jesus present at that moment. Although we are spiritually dead, through God’s grace we are raised through Christ when we choose to believe in Him. (Genesis 2:7, John 3:6)

Washed in His blood: Being raised with Him involves accepting the sacrificial love He offers us. This loving Spirit indwells and cleans or sanctifies the effects of sin from our lives. (Luke 22:20, l Peter 1:18-19)

As we trust in Him and depend on Him, we submit ourselves to God’s will as Christ did. Then we find perfect delight, happiness and peace. All is at rest. We are lost in His love. Our attitude is one of praise and gratitude: Praising my Savior all the day long.

Like Gerald, this is my story. This is my song.

Rusty Hoffman