For many these are difficult times, of fear and discouragement, of nerves, of uncertainties and unease. One of the most sounding expressions these days is ‘we will no longer be the same’. And surely in many things there will be a before and after.
For us disciples of Jesus Christ are times of grace. We are in absolute peace. We feel the protection of the Almighty. The Lord gives us special time to affirm ourselves more in Him, and we must be diligent in making good use of Him.
«Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.» (Eph 5.15-17)
We must also be understood of what the will of the Lord is, especially in this time. So as we mentioned, God gives us a time of grace. A time to meditate more on Him and His Word. I think it’s time to affirm our hearts.
Affirming our hearts
"Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; Establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand.» (James 5:7-8)
«And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men,even as we also do toward you; to the end he may establish your heartsunblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.» (1 Tes 3.12-13)
This last passage also tells us that we must grow and abound in love for one another, so that our hearts may be affirmed.
To affirm, is to put firmer, to put firmness to something. It’s getting stronger, more focused on something. It is also to gain greater security. Then let us follow the counsel and affirm our hearts. But how are we to affirm our hearts?
Time to affirm our hope
It’s time to be patient. To exercise patience and affirm the hope of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we saw in the previous two passages (Stg 5.7-8 and 1 Thess 3.12-13). Waiting patiently for what we expect, which is already closer. We must affirm our hearts irrepressible in holiness.
«And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.» (1 Jn 3.3)
Hope is what we expect. But not a hope we sit for, it’s not passive. It’s an active hope. Then let us prepare with joy and peace. The Lord is coming, we are going to meet him. Let’s affirm our hope.
Time to affirm ourselves in faith
«Watch, stand firm in faith; fe manly, and strive.» (1 Co 16.13)
"As therefore ye received the Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him; rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith,even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgivings." (Col 2.6-7)
(Paul and Barnabas were…)
«confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith,and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.» (Hch 14.22)
How do we affirm ourselves in faith?
«So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ..» (Ro 10.17 LBLA)
So, faith in what? In the word of Christ, what we have heard from Him. His revelation.
The apostolic kerigma proclaims it with authority about the truths of the kingdom of God. The lordship of Jesus Christ. His work on the cross, his resurrection, his ascension and his return. God’s eternal purpose. And what He established for His church, such as relationships in the body and mission of it.
Affirming ourselves in the Knowledge of the Lord
Christ revealed to the Father.
«the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.» (Jn 1.18)
«He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.» (Jn 14.9).
We need to affirm much more our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Who is he? How is it? Learn more about its attributes. Know your plans, your thoughts, your passion. How he acts, how he reacts. This is not an intellectual knowledge, it is not about doing studies on Jesus. It is an intimate, experimental, experiential knowledge. It is achieved through an intimate coexistence with Him. Then we must grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
«But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and The for ever. Amen.» (2 Pe 3.18)
Affirming ourselves in grace
«Be not be carried away by divers and strange teachings: for it is good that the heart be established by grace;not by meats, wherein they that occupied themselves were not profited.» (He 13.9)
Another important thing for this time, affirm ourselves in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. What is this? Remember your goodness, your love, your mercy. Everything we have received in the Lord undeservedly. Affirming ourselves in well-understood grace, this is not cheap grace. It is the grace that activates, that mobilizes, that then draws from us a greater delivery. This also helps us in affirming ourselves in the knowledge of our Lord. It helps us grow in the dependence of our Beloved and not rely so much on the earthly things (the viandas) that they do not take advantage of.
A time of grace
The Lord gives us this time to affirm ourselves in our hearts, in grace, in faith. In hope. In the knowledge of the Lord. Let us therefore take advantage of this time of grace which the Lord bestows upon us.