“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because he holds tightly to us.” (RC Sproul)
Recently my family went to a small boutique in our hometown (where my wife enjoys spending all our money). In order to get there, we had to cross a very busy street. I told Jovi, my oldest daughter, to hold my hand as we walked across the road and into the store.
While holding my hand, she would loosen her grip and act as if she was pulling away, but I tightened my grip all the more to ensure she stayed with me. It didn’t matter how loose her grip was on me since my grip on her was extremely tight. She could try to let go, pull away, or run off—it wasn’t going to happen.
The same is true with us and Jesus. As we hold Jesus’ hands through the trials and temptations of life, it can be easy to become distracted and loosen our grip. But his grip is firm, tight, and never letting up.
If you are in Christ, he is holding onto you and will never let you go. This precious truth should cause three things to happen for Christians.
Christ’s firm grip on you should humble you. It’s hard to be conceited when we know it’s Christ’s hold on us—not our hold on him—that keeps us moving forward. Pride will quickly eradicate when we realize Jesus is the sole reason we’re still in union with him. If it were up to us—if it were up to how tight our grip is on his hand—we’d fall away. But because we acknowledge our complete dependence on Jesus, pride is beat down and not an issue. The Christian life can’t be run with pride, but Christlike humility.
Christ’s firm grip on you should raise you from the pit of despair. You’ve been there what seems like a thousand times. You fall back into that besetting sin that you thought you got over the last time. But here it is again, clawing it’s way back. The natural reaction to this unfortunate cycle is to despair. Get it together, we say. This shouldn’t be an issue still. But it is, because we’re still in our fleshly bodies. But even in the thick of our nagging sins, we see Christ never hinted at releasing his grip. He’s still holding us and will never let go.
Christ’s firm grip on your should be a primary source of motivation to pursue holiness. The end goal of the Christian life is to become more like Jesus. Each day I want to be a little more holy than the day before. The best motivator to keep striving to that end is seeing Christ’s secure hold on us. We press on with confidence—even when we stumble—because we know Jesus is firmly holding us. We embrace the fact that he’ll never release us, never give up on us, never forsake us.
We are secure in Christ. When we think too highly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3), this is a much-needed reminder that our progression is not due to our abilities, but Christ’s. The times we fall down repeatedly and not sure we will ever advance, we can look to this truth and know he will complete the work he started in us (Phil. 1:6). And, ultimately, we can continue on in sanctification, reminding ourselves of his hold on us, knowing we are secure in him.
Enjoy my writing? You might like my first book, Gospel Smugness.