Insurance or Assurance?

By Ross Conn

As last year drew to a close, I was still struggling with many of the complications and worries that had been making me feel insecure for some time. Then I came across an article about the difference between “insurance” and “assurance,” which got me thinking. Was God my insurance or my assurance?

Insurance: coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril.

Assurance: the state of being assured: as a: security b: a being certain in the mind c: confidence of mind or manner: easy freedom from self-doubt or uncertainty.

Having God in our lives is a form of insurance. We know that no matter what happens, He will be with us and bless us for trusting Him. “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,”1 and, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God.”2

But in my day-to-day life, particularly when I’m faced with a decision or problem, what I want and need even more is assurance for the short term. God gives us that, too. He promises us guidance,3 supply of our needs,4 and grace and strength in difficult times.5 He also offers the assurance, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”6—and that is as true in the immediate circumstance as it will ever be.

Life is a series of situations and decisions. When we focus on the uncertainties, we become paralyzed. But when we take our problems to God and look to Him in our decision making, His assurances propel us in the right direction. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God … and it will be given to him.”7 “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.’”8

Who knows what the coming year will bring? Probably a mix of surprises, successes, setbacks, and some sleepless nights. But through it all, God wants to be both our insurance and our assurance—insurance in the long term, and assurance in the short.

____________________
1. Romans 8:38–39
2. Romans 8:28
3. Psalm 32:8
4. Philippians 4:19
5. 2 Corinthians 12:9
6. Hebrews 13:5
7. James 1:5
8. Isaiah 30:21

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