On Thursday night I sat across the table from two of my favorite people in the whole world: my two amazing sisters.
We talked and laughed and shared stories of days gone by. At one point my sister answered the question:
If you could have one trait from each us, what would it be?
It made me laugh a little.
I want to be the girl that she thinks that I am. I want to be filled with belief; I long for the peace that floods my soul in the moments when I am absolutely certain of what I believe.
I’m just not that girl.
That conversation was on my mind when Johnny P opened up the book of Luke this morning at The Gospel Coalition Conference.
The minute he started talking I knew it was for my kind of people: the kind who find themselves unable to joke about doubt because they can feel it – near and real, threatening to consume their joy; promising to produce anxiety.
I knew that God was going to use JP to talk to my people because he started by reminding us that the book of Luke was written so that we ‘might have certainty concerning the things we have been taught’.
Let that rest on you for a moment.
There is a whole book of the Bible that is written so that you and I could have absolute confidence, immovable safety and unshakeable certainty in the things we have been taught.
Doesn’t that sound like Heaven?
To wake up in the morning with certainty: certainty that God is real and up there, certainty that the events of the Gospel are real and happened. Certainty that this whole thing is not some fairy tale.
People these days seem to hate certainty. It smells like arrogance and intolerance. It feels inauthentic, naïve and cult-ish.
People these days call me to settle for doubt. They tell me that certainty is impossible and dishonoring to God somehow; as if it’s doubt that makes faith real.
But I think God is honored by my hunger for certainty. I think that because of the book of Luke.
Before the foundation of the world when He was thinking up the personalities of the men who would have the enormous honor of writing the Gospel accounts of His Son, He thought up Luke. He knit Luke as a science guy, a doctor and He prompted him to write his account of Jesus’ life and death with an explicit objective: that we might have complete confidence in the truth of the things we believe.
He wrote the book of Luke for me and you. He wrote the book of Luke so we would know that our desire to have certainty is a desire He not only understands, but is a desire that He longs to satisfy through His Word.
I know there are those of you out there who love doubt. I know there are those of you who enjoy the angst of it.
But I know that there are others of you – people like me – who want to believe with every fiber the things we profess; who are terrified of settling for an inauthentic life.
To you I say this: press on for certainty.
Reject the temptation of a faith that is movable. Reject the kind of faith that can be blown around by culture and temporary desires.
Fight for faith that is like a mountain, firm beneath your feet.
Fight that fight by picking up His Word, flipping to the Gospel of Luke, and begging God to let that glorious book accomplish the purpose it was designed to accomplish: ‘to give you certainty regarding the things you have been taught.’