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Full Assurance of Faith
When Queen Esther was implored to go in before Ahasuerus, to beg for the life of her people, she at first refused, because it was death to go before him without being summoned, but finally she yielded, saying: "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16.

Ahasuerus (Xerxes) was a heathen king, and an unreasonable despot. In going before him the queen took her life in her hand. But our God has held out his sceptre to us; he wants us to come, and entreats us to come. "As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:11. "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17.

We said that there is no such thing as "perhaps" with God. James says that with him is no "variableness, neither shadow of turning." Then those who come to him, doubtful if they will receive what they ask for, must displease him, because they reflect upon his truthfulness. That God is displeased with the one who doubts, is evident from Hebrews 11:6, and also from the following words:—

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." James 1:5-7.

The man who thinks that "perhaps" God will hear his prayer, thinks that "perhaps" he will not; such an one cannot ask in faith, nothing wavering, and consequently cannot receive anything. The only way to come is to come boldly. The violent take the kingdom of heaven by force.

One thought more. God is pleased to have us come to him with confidence, because it shows that we believe what he says; and his own glory depends on the fulfilment of his promises. Says Paul: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7. That is, God intends to exhibit us throughout eternity, as an evidence of the exceeding riches of his grace; the souls that are saved will be an everlasting trophy of his unchanging goodness; how then can it be imagined that he will not hear the prayer of the contrite soul, with whom he has said that he delights to dwell?

Have you repented of your sins? Do you hate them, and long for a better life? Have you confessed them? Then take the assurance of God's word as evidence that your sins are forgiven, and that you are entitled to peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you may say with the prophet: "O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." Isaiah 12:1, 2.

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