I know in this world we will have trouble; and I know that our trials strengthen our faith and our relationship with our God and Savior. I was reminded today in The Word; somewhere in the midst’s of Hebrews Chapter 10-13. (I started reading and just couldn’t stop). Anyhow, in Chapter 10, I was encouraged not to give up: Don’t Throw It All Away
19-21So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
22-25So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
26-31If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
32-39Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
It won’t be long now, he’s on the way;
he’ll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.
But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
In chapter 11, I was reminded that followers in the past remained faithful, even though they many times did not see the fruits of their works, but are know reaping the reward in Heaven with Jesus. This really helps me to carry on when I seek to obey God in what He asks me to do, and also do not see results. It’s in these moments that I am reminded of my constant surrender and His never-ending faithfulness to me. I was also encouraged by Chapter 12, being reminded of the importance of God’s need to discipline us, and how as a parent I really need to sometimes step up and do a better job in this area. Lastly, in Chapter 13, I was once again reminded that God does not change, He is always there, ready to help us, never walking away or leaving us. To also be respectful and learn from our pastoral leaders and to “contribute to their joy in leadership and not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them” v. 13:17. This really hit my heart stings this morning as I have been dealing with some unforgivness and hurt in my heart. God was quick to remind me that my strife that I was holding in my heart was unnecessary and just to let it go. Sometimes we want to hold on to our hurts b/c we think that by doing this somehow it makes us stronger, and makes us feel more noble in our efforts; but it actually limits the bigger plans and purposes of God. Yes, we must keep running the race, staying close to our Jesus in moment by moment surrender; knowing that He only wants the best for us, and that more than anything He wants us to live out the faith and love that He has bestowed upon each one of us who call ourselves followers of Christ.