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"I Wish I Knew For Sure"

by Walter L. Wilson (1881-1969)

Edna was a little Swedish girl, fifteen years old, but very small for her age. Her blond hair hung in long curls around her shoulders, and her blue eyes sparkled. She attended each service that it was my privilege to conduct in a new church that the Swedish friends had built in that community. She sat near the front with her parents, and gave close attention to each of the messages. Toward the end of the week, I could see her interest was deepening, and evidently her desires were aroused for a better knowledge of God.

At the close of the Thursday night service. Edna hurried up to the platform immediately after the benediction, and said so excitedly, "Doctor, I believe the Holy Bible, and I think I am saved, but I wish I knew for sure. How can anybody know when she is really saved? Up at school they tell me that the Bible is not true, and that Christians are just foolish people who have funny ideas and do not live normal lives. I know that Christians are real people and do live lovely lives, because my parents are Christians and no one could be better or nicer than they are. I do not know what to say to these people, but I tell them I know they are wrong. I wish I was sure myself. How can anybody know he really belongs to God and is forgiven?"

I was quite delighted with this question, because it revealed a deep desire in the heart of this lovely girl, and showed an honest spirit in seeking after God.

We sat down and at once sought to learn from the "Christian's guide" an answer to her request. First, we read 1 John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that you may know that ye have eternal life.

"You see, Edna, the Lord knew that there would be doubts in your heart, and so He prepared the answer for you in this passage. You have never seen the books in heaven. You have never seen the Lord Jesus, but you believe in Him because you have read about Him. Now you may believe the rest of the verse, that is, because you believe in the Lord Jesus and have trusted Him with your soul, He has already given to you the gift of eternal life.

"Another way we may know that we are saved is by the experience we have in our hearts. If you love your Bible, it is because the Lord put that love there. If you love God's people, it is because He has put that nature there. If you prefer the things of God to the things of Satan, it is because the Lord has put that desire in your soul.

"We read also, and I want you to see it for yourself, Edna, that because you have trusted Christ you have both forgiveness and redemption. Read this verse in Ephesians 1:7, 'In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.' Again, we are dependent wholly upon His Word that it is so, and because He says it is so, therefore we accept it as the truth and rejoice in it.

"Edna, if I told you that I had deposited some money for you in the bank downtown, you would rejoice tonight in that fact, even though you could not see the money until tomorrow. Is that not true?"

She smiled so happily that I could see by her countenance that the truth had dawned upon her heart. "Yes," she answered, "I believe you would tell me the truth, and if you said you had done it, then I would know you had, and I would be happy in expecting to get the money tomorrow.

"It is that way with God, isn't it? He tells us that we have these things and some day we will see them ourselves, won't we? My, how that does make me glad tonight! I believe what God says, I know He always tells the truth, and so I am glad that now I may know that He has saved me and has given me eternal life."

Thinking that perhaps her young mind would not be fully established by this line of truth, I added a bit more by saying, "Edna, do you know whose sins Jesus blotted out when He died upon the cross?"

"Sure," she said, "they were mine, and they are all gone."

"Yes," I said, "it is so lovely that you can see this. Do you know to whom God gave His Son when He so loved the world?"

"Why yes," she said, "He gave Him to me, and I have Him because I have taken Him and trusted Him. I can see that easy enough."

With this answer she could wait no longer to tell her joy. She bounded down off the platform, ran to her mother, and I could see them in loving embrace, as she told the mother of the new assurance and the new peace in her heart.

You, too, may have peace, whoever you may be. May "the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing" (Romans 15:13).

From Remarkable New Stories: Told by the Doctor by Walter L. Wilson. 1940.

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