faith and assurance

faith and assurance are cousins.  faith is coming to christ, assenting to the truths (the evidence) recorded in the bible; and claiming the promises of salvation and forgiveness of sins in christ, for oneself.  assurance — although not of the essence of faith, ie, faith can be genuine without assurance — is coming to christ, with full-bodied and complete, confidence and joy.

i went inside the children’s sunday school room, one sunday morning.  as i entered the door, i saw a familiar little girl — a dear friend — walking across the room, with her arms around her younger cousin’s shoulders.

“where’s my hug?” i said.  assurance ran towards me — leaving her younger cousin — she leaped and threw her arms around my neck, and hung her legs around my waist.  she’s given me this “monkey hug” twice before, when i had been to their home, and she saw me walking through the hallway.  i gently hugged her back.

“will you give uncle a hug?” i asked her younger cousin, faith, who was looking on.  i bent down a bit, dropped both hands and leaned forward.  faith looked at me, glanced at assurance who is now standing beside me, then looked back at me.

“you can do it!” assurance said to her younger cousin.  faith had witnessed how assurance had hugged me, but because she wasn’t very familiar with me (she’d seen me often before, but not close enough) she walked very slowly towards me, glancing back at her cousin.

“you can do it!” assurance said a second time, as faith was about a foot away from me.  faith slowly reached her tiny arms around my neck, and i softly hugged her back.

“i love you, faith!” i whispered.  “i love you, assurance!”

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