Vol. 18 No. 42 | October 24, 2016
“What are we going to do?”
“How are we going to survive?”
“What has happened to our nation?”
“What is happening to our nation?”
“What is going to happen to our nation?”
“If ______________ [you fill in the blank] is elected president in November the world as we know it will cease to exist!”
I wish I could tell you that these statements come only from the liberal or conservative media. I wish I could tell you that these statements come only from one political party in reference to the opposing party. I wish I could tell you that these statements of fear and despair and confusion come only from those who have no hope.
I wish I could tell you those things, but I cannot tell you that. These statements of fear and despair and confusion are often spoken as loudly and with as much intensity by people of faith as they are by people who make no claims about having a faith.
There are times when these statements of fear and despair and confusion push me toward feelings of fear and despair and confusion. Then, I read Hebrews. When I read Hebrews I remember that our confidence is in the Lord. Our hope is God.
The letter of Hebrews is written to a group of people who like many in our day are living in fear, despair and confusion over what has happened to them, what is happening around them, or what might happen in the future. They were tired. They were disappointed with how life was turning out for them. They were uncertain about the future.
So, God sent them a letter to remind them that in spite of, and maybe because of, their circumstances, there was still a reason to be hopeful. The letter encourages the strugglers to remember where their real hope is and where their confidence is. The One in whom they trust is greater than all the others. He is greater than all the angels. He is greater than Moses. He is greater than any high priest. He is greater than any of their sacrifices. He is greater! He is worthy of confidence! He can be trusted!
In chapter 10:19-24 they (and us) are given this reminder and challenge under a heading (in the New International Version) of A Call to Persevere.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Within this challenging statement there are three specific things we can do to help alleviate our fear, despair, and confusion. They are easy spot as they begin with the words, “Let us…”
(22) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” God is near, so draw near to Him. He has not deserted us, so draw near to Him. As you draw near to Him, remember that He is worthy of your trust and your confidence.
(23) “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” No matter what, do not let go of your hope. No matter who is in power do not let go of your hope. No matter what appears to be happening do not let go of your hope. Why? Because He is faithful.
(24) “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Stick together and encourage each other. Stay close physically and encourage each other with actions and with words. Encourage each other personally, emotionally, and spiritually. Stay connected in body and spirit.
This is not a time for those of us who have put our faith and confidence in the One who has “cleansed us and washed us clean” to “shrink back” (10:39). This is a time for those of us who have hope to share our hope. This is a time for those of us who have confidence in Him to remind our friends and our brothers and sisters that our confidence is in the One who dwells in the Most Holy Place. This is a time for those of us who have confidence in the living God to display our confidence that He is able, that He is in control, that He is our God and Lord and Savior.
Our confidence, like those who have gone before us, this great cloud of witnesses, is in Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Let our confidence be in Him, let our hope be in Him, and let us keep our eyes on Him!
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2016. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.