Guest post by Dave Furman
While on a date at a Dubai mall years ago, Gloria and I lost our car. We thought it was stolen as we searched the mall parking garage for over an hour. Only later did we realize we were simply on the wrong level. But that was nothing compared to the time we lost our car in Spain. We were with a short-term outreach team and had parked our car in downtown Málaga. After eating dinner with the team, we walked out to the car, but it wasn’t where we thought it should be. We looked around and asked everyone we could. Each person sent us to another person and then another. Eventually we visited a police department who then sent us to another police office. We were so sure that the city was playing a practical joke on us!
Eventually the police sent us on what felt like a scavenger car hunt to the other side of the city. And there we found our car— clear across town in a portion of a parking garage that looked like car prison. Our vehicle was literally in a car jail cell. Apparently we had parked somewhere we shouldn’t have, and the car had been towed away. We were expecting a huge fine, but we simply paid a few euros and purchased a normal parking ticket. We rescued our vehicle and arrived at our hotel safe and sound just after 3 a.m. Apparently losing cars is not too hard to do (at least for my wife and me).
You probably have similar stories about losing valuable things. Hurting friend, I want to focus on a truth that has held me tight in the dark nights of my soul: God never loses us.
In 1 Peter 1 the apostle directs our hearts and minds to this diamond of a truth. Peter writes:
God will never lose you. He will never, ever, ever lose you. This a breathtaking truth.
Peter is not speaking of an earthly inheritance that parents pass down to children. He is not talking about an estate or a fancy gold necklace. These inheritances often get lost or damaged. Peter doesn’t tell us exactly what the inheritance will be, but he describes it as imperishable. It’s unable to decay. It’s indestructible. It’s also undefiled, unable to be stained or ruined. And it’s unfading. This inheritance can’t lose its value like an earthly estate might. It’s not subject to the volatile ups and downs of the stock market or the shrewdness of our investing strategies. It will never lose its value because God himself is keeping it for us in heaven.
The Bible also shows us specifically how God keeps this inheritance for us:
The Spirit does at least two things after we believe in Christ. First, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is the image of a king sealing a royal document by pressing his signet ring into wax, leaving his impression of royal authority. In a way, the Spirit is the signet ring of our triune God. He makes a mark on our souls, showing God’s ownership of us. A seal can describe protection against outsiders. You seal your house and lock it up before leaving for vacation. You seal your envelope before putting it in the mail. Christians are sealed by God against the Devil and his schemes. We are protected by the King.
Second, the Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. The term guarantee comes from commercial and business language. It’s similar to the idea of a deposit. You might pay a deposit when you purchase a home. You sign the contract and leave a guarantee to show your intention to pay everything you owe for the home. It’s a pledge or a promise. But while there are times when we may fail on our promises, the Holy Spirit never reneges on his promises. God is unable to go back on his word. He promises to finish what he has begun. This heavenly inheritance is guaranteed.
The Perseverance of the Savior
If you’re a child of God, you can be sure that he will keep you to the end because he will do it through his strength, not yours. The very next verse in 1 Peter 1 tells us that we “by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:5).
Even as you endure the most horrible pain imaginable, you are being held together through God’s power and guarded by him. The word guarded can be translated “protected.” It is the word used to describe the construction of garrisons in a city to protect it from its enemies. This is what God is doing for all believers. He has put a wall of defense around each of our lives and is guarding our salvation. He is protecting our faith with the best defense system in the universe. It has a perfect success rate. He has never lost one of his heirs.
It is incredibly encouraging that we persevere because of God. You might feel utterly powerless in your affliction. You may think you don’t have the strength to hold on to your faith. You can hardly make it through a day keeping yourself together. The crushing power of the waves of trial leave you without stamina to keep fighting. You are depressed and lonely. You are broken and sense that you’re losing your grip on life and there is no way you can endure any longer. But friend, God won’t lose you! Some theologians call this doctrine “the perseverance of the saints,” but R. C. Sproul explains that this doctrine could better be called the “preservation of the saints.” Sproul is saying that we don’t persevere in our own strength, but God preserves us in his strength. It’s really the perseverance of the Savior. God won’t stop short of bringing his children home.
We are being guarded through faith, by God’s power. Even our faith is from God. It is a gift. Some of you are struggling through tough times and thinking, “I don’t know if I can hold on to God.” In the midst of your trials don’t miss that he’s holding on to you. The same God who keeps our inheritance also keeps us for our inheritance. Our church’s statement of faith says this about believers: “A special providence watches over their welfare and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” In a special providence of God we are protected until the fullness of our salvation is revealed at the end. He will have this salvation ready. We can do nothing to prepare it. There is no need for us to come alongside God as consultants in designing it. Disease and depression don’t render us disqualified. Persecution and even martyrdom won’t separate us from God. No sickness, no evil, no injustice, and no pain can keep us from God.
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing. Our hope is grounded in the past (Christ’s death and resurrection) and assured in the future (our undefiled inheritance), which gives us hope in the present.
Content taken from Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials by David Furman, ©2018. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.
 R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997), 202.
 Ibid, 201.
 T. R Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude in The New American Commentary, vol. 37 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2003), 64.
 Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?, 210.
Dave Furman (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which he helped plant in 2010. He previously served in various churches in the United States. More than ten years ago, Dave developed a nerve disease and struggles with disability in both arms. He is the author of Kiss the Wave: Embracing God in Your Trials and Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting.