Last week, in Part I of our series, we explored why “job security” is more myth than reality. This week, we’ll begin taking a look at how to handle that reality… beginning with the recognition that nothing in this world is ever quite as secure as we like to fool ourselves into believing it is. Families break up, the stock market falls, our car blows a tire, terrorists attack, friends come and go, and so do jobs. The only real security for any of us is the kind that God offers through faith in His Son.
According to the Bible, this sort of security is eternal and totally exclusive of own efforts. John 10:27-29 says, “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me.” And in Romans 8:38,39 the apostle Paul declares, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So how do we know if we have this kind of security? To begin with, we need to understand that God created us with the desire to be close to us. As with most relationships, that closeness involves love and consideration. Unless you’re an eight-year-old child, you don’t hit someone with whom you hope to develop a good friendship. And unless you really don’t want a relationship with God, you don’t intentionally hurt Him either.
Unfortunately, instead of nurturing our relationship with God, each of us has chosen the route of that eight-year-old. Romans 3:23 states that, “…all have sinned; all fall short.” We’ve chosen to strike God rather than embrace Him. And as much as God would like each of us to be His friend, He isn’t going to force us to do something we don’t want to do.
Rejecting His friendship, however, also means rejecting all of the benefits of that friendship. James 1:17 tells us that, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father.” (NLT) So in rejecting God, we’re also rejecting everything that’s good. This absence of good is known as “Hell” and the description the Bible gives of this place is not pretty. The Apostle John wrote, “I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12,15) This is eternal separation from God, beyond the reach of His friendship. And it’s a choice we make.
So what happens when we realize that we’ve made the wrong choice? Well, there’s good news… God didn’t quit wanting a relationship with us just because we didn’t want one with Him. In order to make reconciliation possible, He took on human flesh and died on a cross to pay the price that justice demanded. (This would be a bit like a person being convicted of assault… and someone else serving the prison sentence.) All we have to do is accept that gift. Ephesians 2:8,9 states that, “God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
If we’ve accepted that gift, then we have the eternal security we talked about earlier. Nothing that we or anyone else can do will ever change the fact that we’re Heaven bound! This free gift, however, effects more than our eternal destination: it plays an important role in how we cope with the insecurities that we experience right here on earth. Once our relationship with God has been restored, He offers us peace amidst turmoil, patience in the face of injustice, and satisfaction even when we’ve been wronged. He offers us the grace to handle any situation we encounter either at home, at school, or in the workforce with the confidence and assurance that He is on our side. And that is security at its best!