I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
John 10:28-29 NLT
Security is something we all long for in our in our relationships, especially in our relationship with God. We want to know that God will not turn his back on us in our greatest hour of need. We want to know that God the Father will be there when we fail. We want to know that God’s love for us is not dependent on the quality of our prayer lives or the perfection of our walk.
Jesus gave his disciples a word about their security in him and that word is for us as well (Isa. 49:15-16). Jesus said that he knows us personally and intimately in that he calls us by our individual names (John 10:3). Jesus grants us eternal life, not a finite experience, or temporary thrill, or a fickle fate, but a life lived in the presence of God, secure in his love forever (John 10:28). Jesus promises us that we will never perish, we need not worry about being cast off (John 6:37) or abandoned to Satan’s devices (John 10:28).
We are secure, we are engraved in Jesus’ palm (10:28) and we are held in the Father’s hand (John 10:29). We are a gift of the Father to the Son, the Father does not take back his gifts (10:29). Jesus and the Father are in complete unity of being, purpose, and goal: no conflict between them over their determined love for us (John 10:30).
If God would commit to rebellious, stiff-necked Israel his covenant love (Isa.49:15-16, 54:10), how much more are we secure in the work of the cross, the power of the resurrection, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the promises of the new covenant.
What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.
All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is not a moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.
J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 41–42, emphasis added.
HT: Desiring God