Yes! (2 Cor. 1:18-20)
There are times when I think the citizens of Corinth have been given a bad rap. I know I’ve been guilty of it. When in need of an example of sin run amok, or immaturity, or theological ignorance, I’ve often pointed at Corinth. Poor chaps. Yet, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that they probably weren’t much different from the rest of us. Yes, I know, there was division in the church there, not to mention immorality, ambition, and spiritual pride. Like I said, they weren’t much different from the rest of us.
One of their biggest problems was lack of trust, both in God and their leaders (again, like I said, they weren’t much different from the rest of us). Their suspicions about Paul have already been noted. “Apostle Paul? Well, we’re not too sure about that,” they might have been heard to say. “If he were truly apostolic and really cared about us, why did he change his travel plans and leave us in the lurch?” Paul answers that question and puts their fears to rest here in the opening words of 2 Corinthians (1:12-2:4).
He does his best to assure them that he is not the sort who says “Yes” when he really means “No,” the sort who is casual about his promises and thinks only of himself. “We strive to be consistent,” says Paul, “because God is. We prize faithfulness and integrity in our relationship with you because that’s how God treats all of us.” Here’s how he put it:
“As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:18-20).
In the final analysis, if the Corinthians can’t bring themselves to trust Paul, he wants to make sure that they trust Christ. “I’m not perfect,” says the apostle. “But he is. His word to you is marked by integrity and sincerity and his promises will never be withdrawn or fall short of fulfillment. When it comes to who he is and what he’s said, he’s an unequivocal Yes!”
What a powerful reminder to forgetful folk. What a marvelous affirmation to suspicious souls. What a rock solid reassurance concerning God’s intentions toward us. When we doubt his word or let anxiety supplant faith, we are called to look at Christ Jesus and behold God’s indelible “YES!”
Because of Jesus Christ: the perfection of his life, the sufficiency of his death, the power of his resurrection, the certainty of his return, God’s answer to your questions is always and ever, “Yes!”
“God, will you answer me when I call (Ps. 4:1)?” Yes!
“God, will you be my refuge in the face of my enemies (Ps. 7:1)?” Yes!
“God, can you actually make known to me the pathway of life (Ps. 16:11)?” Yes!
“God, will you be for me fullness of joy and pleasures evermore (Ps. 16:11)?” Yes!
“God, can I count on you to be my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my shield and my stronghold (Ps. 18:2)?” Yes!
“God, will you be there, with me and for me and beside me, as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4)?” Yes!
“God, will you satisfy my heart with ravishing revelations of your beauty (Ps. 27:4)?” Yes!
“God, if I delight myself in you alone, will you truly grant me the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4)?” Yes!
“God, does your steadfast love endure all day long (Ps. 52:1)?” Yes!
“God, will you be the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps. 73:26)?” Yes!
“God, what of your promise not to deal with me according to my sins or repay me according to my iniquities (Ps. 103:10)? Is that really true?” Yes!
“God, is it true that your mercies never come to an end; are they literally new every morning (Lam. 3:22)?” Yes!
“God, will you continue to sing over me with joy and delight, in spite of my brokenness and weakness and immaturity (Zeph. 3:17)?” Yes!
“God, are you really committed to orchestrating all things in my life for my ultimate spiritual good (Rom. 8:28)?” Yes!
“God, will you always comfort me in my affliction so that I may be equipped and qualified to comfort others in theirs (2 Cor. 1:4)?” Yes!
“God, are all the spiritual blessings in heavenly places already and absolutely mine (Eph. 1:3)?” Yes!
“God, will you always be present to do for me far more abundantly than all I can ask or think (Eph. 3:20)?” Yes!
“God, if I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, can I know with unassailable confidence that it is you who are already at work in me to will and to do for your good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13)?” Yes!
“God, if I pour out my heart to you with thanksgiving, will your peace guard my heart now and forever (Phil. 4:6-7)?” Yes!
“God, is it still the case that you plan on sanctifying me wholly, in spirit and soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23)?” Yes!
“God, are you actually committed to never leaving me or forsaking me (Heb. 13:5)?” Yes!
“God, if I draw near to you, will you really draw near to me (Js. 4:8)?” Yes!
“God, if I confess my sins, will you forever be faithful and just and forgive me of them (1 John 1:9)?” Yes!
“God, is it still your intent to wipe away every tear from my eyes and to banish pain and sorrow and death (Rev. 21:4)?” Yes!
“God, are you coming soon (Rev. 22:20)?” Yes!
I want to believe you, God. I long to trust your promises. How can I know for sure? To whom can I look for assurance? What guarantee will your provide?
“Jesus! For all my promises find their Yes in him!”