By Laura Roberts
Note: About twice a year I get to speak in chapel to the elementary students at UIS. Here’s a condensed, adult version of the talk I will give today.
How can our faith become stronger, and how can we really believe Jesus when times are hard? I think when we really begin to understand how well Jesus knows us, how He is with us, and how much He loves us, then trusting Him will become easier.
2 Timothy 2:19 says, “The LORD knows those who are his” (NLT). The Greek word used here is “ginosko”, which describes an intimate knowledge. This is how Jesus knows us. Psalm 139 gives us a good description of this knowledge. Just as a Good Shepherd knows each of His sheep by name, Jesus knows each of us personally (John 10:1-16). We can have faith in Jesus because we know that He knows us so well that He knows what is best for us.
We also can have faith in Jesus because we know that He is with us. In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus promises us that he will be with us always. In John 14:16-18 Jesus promised His followers that He would send them the Holy Spirit. So, we can have faith in Jesus because we know that He is always with us.
1 John 4:7-19 is one of the most descriptive passages about God’s love. I really like how verse 16 makes a connection between understanding God’s love and learning to trust Him, and how verse 18 says that perfect love expels all fear. It is true that when we really begin to understand God’s love, we can begin to trust Him-something that is truly a life-long process.
My prayer for my students, and for you, is that you both begin to put your faith in Jesus in all circumstances, even the hard ones. By knowing how well Jesus knows us, becoming aware that He’s with us, and truly understanding how much He loves us, we can begin to trust Him more. My closing prayer for you today is Ephesians 3:14-21.
Laura is a teacher to missionary children.