I’m pretty sure … about some things. Seasons will come and go. The tide rises and recedes, and the sun continues to show up each morning. But when it comes to eternity and heavenly things, I want to be really sure. So, I turn to the source of life, the father of all creation. I study his word and I find that God our maker is the one who knows us intimately. It is he who wrote the 67 billion miles of genetic information contained within our bodies (and we call it DNA.) He is the Lord God and the shepherd of every soul that trusts in him. We can be sure that he cares for us.

The goodness of God has been observable since the beginning of time. He paints the sunrise and sunset with warm and brilliant colors as a reminder of his love and attention. The psalmist David felt secure in the love of God and wrote Psalm 33:4-6, “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.” We can be sure of God’s lovingkindness toward us.

The prophet Isaiah believed the sure word of God and looked forward with certainty to a future when God would send his son to deliver us from the path of shame and disappointment. Isaiah may not have completely understood that this would come through Christ on the cross, but while under divine inspiration, he penned Isaiah 53:6. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, each one, to his own way; but the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all (our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing) to fall on him (instead of us.)” Jesus became the great shepherd when he lived and died for the sake of his sheep. We can be sure of God’s mercy for all who believe in his son.

David found the word of the Lord to be reliable. He experienced some really bad days before and after he sat on his throne. But he knew he could call on the Lord of heaven to lead him, help him and deliver him. David understood that his relationship with God was like a lamb depending on its shepherd. As his heart swelled with certainty one day, he wrote, “He refreshes and restores my soul (life); he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the (sunless) valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod (to protect) and your staff (to guide,) they comfort and console me.” Psalm 23:3-4

David gained confidence in heaven’s security by spending a lot of time meditating on the abundant promises of God. God had declared blessing and help to those who chose to love and serve him. When trouble and tribulations came, David could recall the Lord’s powerful promises. They guided his petitions. And with a heart full of assurance, he could finish Psalm 23 with this moving declaration, “Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever (throughout all my days) in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”

Barbara Brown is a member of the ministry team at the Lighthouse Church of God

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Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.