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October 1, 2021

This month’s Pastor’s Perspective is delivered by Pastor Grady Smith of Gateway Baptist Church

Do all of the uncertainties around you ever make you feel unsettled? Each day there are many reminders before us of how fragile our lives are, how broken the world is, and how much pain there is. Our unprecedented access to instant information does not help. At every turn, whether our social media feeds, text messages, televisions, or radios, we are confronted with the realities of pain, brokenness, and uncertainty. With these realities bombarding us daily, what is our anchor? What is it that can gives us peace not dependent on our circumstances?

In John chapter 10, Jesus speaks some astonishing words. After describing us as sheep, and Himself as the Good Shepherd, He speaks words to us that should settle us, refocus us, fill us with hope, and become an anchor to us as we journey through the uncertainties of life. In John 10:27-29, Jesus says,

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

There is so much hope for followers of Christ in those words! First, we are told that God knows us – not just about us, but knows us on the personal, deepest level. Whatever struggles we face, God already knows. Whatever fears quickly grip our hearts, God already knows. He knows His sheep personally and loves each one.

Second, Jesus reminds us of the certainty of eternity with Him. The trials of this life are real, yet fleeting. Those hardships will not last forever. Very soon we will see Him face to face and enter into an eternity free of temptation, trials, and pain. Eternal life in His presence where we worship Him and experience life as it was meant to be awaits all followers of Christ.

Third, as we journey toward that future reality, Jesus assures us that He is with us and holding us now. Notice the emphasis and repetition in these verses. Jesus tells us He is holding us, meaning we are secure. Then He immediately tells us the Father also is holding us. Nothing – absolutely nothing – can take away the certainty of eternal life with Him and His presence with us now. We are held “fast,” an old term meaning securely.

Finally, this security is not an impersonal experience. God does not just look down from a distance. Rather, He intimately is involved in this journey of life with us. He has given us His written Word so we know Him and know His will. He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell inside us to lead us, convict us, encourage us, and keep us secure. Furthermore, He has given us the blessing of the church, other believers He is leading as well, who walk alongside us through all the uncertainties of life.

Often for me, Scriptural truths put to music help remind me of these thoughts when life is hard. One song in particular from Sovereign Grace Music, He Will Hold Me Fast, has been such a grace gift from God in my life as I dwell on these things. Consider the way it describes these truths for us to sing and remember:

When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast.
When the tempter would prevail,
He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through
life’s fearful path.
For my love is often cold,
He must hold me fast.
Those He saves are His delight.
Christ will hold me fast.
Precious in His holy sight,
He will hold me fast
He’ll not let my soul be lost,
His promises shall last.
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.

When life is hard and uncertain, meditate on the glorious truths found in Jesus’ words in John 10. If you are a follower of Him – someone trusting in Jesus alone as your Savior and your Lord – then you have an anchor to keep you steadfast through whatever trials God calls you to walk in this life, knowing that God certainly will “hold you fast.”

Grady Smith is head pastor of Gateway Baptist Church, 3300 Bell Road, in Montgomery.

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