When trouble comes, do you run away from it, or do you run toward it? Does trouble put you on defense, and cause you to back off, or back down? Or does trouble put you on the offense, and spur you to step up, and step forward?
These are important questions for a Christ-follower to answer. That’s why the author of the book to the Hebrews puts the question to his readers.
The Hebrews had started out early in their journey of faith by being the bold ones. They needed a reminder of this, so that they could rediscover their original confidence and endurance: “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering” (Hebrews 10:32, NIV).
The fact was, their boldness had begun to wane, and their faith along with it. Some wanted to make a u-turn and go back to the Judaism they had left. And that’s the whole point of this letter to them. What they now had was superior. Why shrink back from the challenges they were now facing?
Are you sometimes tempted to make a u-turn in life and turn the clock back to a time when you were not a follower of Jesus Christ? Or do you sometimes long for a time when believing seemed easier and you didn’t feel the need to take your faith so seriously — or to exercise it so strenuously? Are the challenges you face to your life of faith causing you to have second thoughts?
Through the letter to the Hebrews, the Holy Spirit reminds us to stand strong in the love and power of God, keep the faith, and claim the crown that Christ has won for us. We are not the kind of people who cut and run.
We are the kind of people who let faith rule over fear. And in the power of him who is faithful to his promises, we endure.
“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39, NIV).
Lord, I repent of the times I allow fear to cause me to want to cut and run, to shrink back and to abandon my faith. Strengthen me by the power of the Spirit through your word and sacraments. Make me bold and remind me that I belong to those who have faith and are saved.
Our Bible reading for Wednesday, November 11, is Ezekiel 20:45 – 22:22, Hebrews 10:19-39 and Psalm 123:1-4.
Header image based on "Hebrews 10:23" by Church Iglesia, CC By 2.0