In spite of what many people, even some Christians, may think, God wants us to be certain and base our certainty on evidence that can be articulated to others who may have doubts:
- “Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)
- “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:8-12)
- “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…” (2 Timothy 3:14)
Conviction is the result of certainty, and certainty is the result of evidential confidence. We are called to be convinced by mastering the evidence that supports what we believe. The Christians life is not one of “wishful thinking” or “hope in the unreasonable”. It is a life of certainty, grounded in the evidence.