October 6, 1992
“When I was a young boy, my dad gave me a silver dollar. He told me to keep it because if I did, I would never be broke.”
Smart dad. While the value of a dollar has diminished, the fact of having something in one’s pocket during tough times is comforting. There is a story about an orphanage where each child was given a crust of bread at night. None of them ate the crust though. Instead, it went under their pillow where it gave them a sense of security against hunger for the next day.
These small things illustrates how God’s present blessings are tokens of assurance for the future. His spiritual versions of “a silver dollar” ensure we will never be spiritual impoverished. His spiritual “crusts of bread” are deposits to give us assurance about a great coming feast we will share with Him someday in heaven.
While not every promise in the Bible is guaranteed in the life of every believer all the time, here are some universal “tokens” in the Christian experience.
PEACE WITH GOD: Jesus Christ secured our forgiveness to the extent that those who believe in Him for eternal life are “no longer condemned.” While this is a reality that is not visible, it is made real by faith since faith is “the evidence of things not seen.” This peace is a token of what one aspect of eternity will be like — a great and deep peace with our Creator and Judge.
PRESENCE OF GOD: God does not promise that life here will be always rosy and trouble-free, but He does promise to be with those who truth Christ. Even though we sometimes fail to sense His presence, our feelings do not change the reality. When we do sense Him near, we often yearn for the fullness of seeing Him someday face to face. This is a wonderful token of a future blessing.
INDWELLING OF HIS SPIRIT: The presence of God is related to the Third Person in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit who lives within Christians. He enables us to “partake in His divine nature” so we have all that is needed to believe and obey Him. This is so important that the Bible says, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).
In Ephesians, the Holy Spirit is also called “the guarantee of our inheritance” until the redemption of our bodies. He has saved us and given us Himself as a “deposit” or down payment which is assurance that the full transaction will be made later on. In the meantime, we are able to enjoy the ministry of the Spirit as He teaches, comforts, assures, enables, and equips us to serve God.
ACCESS TO THE THRONE OF GOD: Jesus, as the High Priest who intercedes for us, also opens our access to God. Sinful creatures cannot approach the Holy One but His blood covers our sin and we can “therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). While God has the wisdom and prerogative to deny our selfish and foolish requests, He still hears what we say and considers our needs. He knows whether we need money, more food, a new job, a friend, to get married, to stay single, or good weather. Every thing that we pray about is heard, evaluated, and answered according to His will and His wisdom — because He loves us and is attentive to us.
EVERLASTING LOVE: No one is able to consistently meet the love-needs of another person, no one except God. His love is unconditional and eternal. He has demonstrated it in sending Christ to die for us.
Paul exclaims, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” These are the tokens — imagine the yet-to-come heavenly inheritance!