True faith goes into operation when there are no answers. ~Elisabeth Elliot
We’ve been studying Hebrews for the past few weeks in church, one of my favorite books in the New Testament. It contains many of the verses I have had memorized since childhood and many verses I have found comfort in since adulthood. As I have walked with Christ, I have had my heart challenged many times to decide where I am going to put my feet; will it be where God is standing, ready to guide me through the next proportion of my path? Will it be where the world says, “Are you crazy? It’s time to bail out on this Jesus stuff.”
I have watched as God moved into my life when all seemed doomed. He walked me through a major broken heart. He has held me when I have prayed for healing for a dear aunt, only to have God answer with Heaven as the healing. I have been led through the restoration of a broken situation and celebrated how God moved to bring it to pass.
Each moment is now remembered as a place where I have believed in God’s goodness and perfect plan and He has answered in ways I could have never imagined. I may not have understood His answer, but I knew He knew more than me and I could trust Him.
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:18). . .we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain (Hebrews 6:18b-19). . .because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always live to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:24-25).
This faith we claim to have builds hope in our souls; we lean into this hope in the troubled times we face. Through it we gain access to the Holy of Holies where we are given audience to the very presence of God. Nothing between us and the very God we claim to follow. There is no greater experience this side of Heaven.
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers (Hebrews 1:10-11).
I do claim this faith in Jesus as my lifeline. The very thing that has kept me from falling into the abyss of sadness, sorrow, and debilitating anxiety. Scripture feeds my soul with truth from the mouth of God. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are– yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
God is right with me, right now. As I strive to let go of the chains that bind me, the ones that trip me, the ones that try to restrain me from growing in His presence. I do believe in His goodness, His mercy, His love for me.
It is to this that I cling, when I feel like I am without oar or rudder in a rough sea.
Hebrews 10 continues with this theme; Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (v. 19). . .and since we have a great priest over the house of God (v. 21). . .Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (v. 25). . .So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (v. 35-36).
This is the faith I will continue to hold onto as I go forward on my journey. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith’ (v.37-38b). But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved (v. 39).
Do I know when this day will come? When the suffering will cease? When Jesus will restore what has been lost, stolen, or damaged in our lives? No, Dear Ones, I cannot point to a day on the calendar. Just as with the promise of Christ Himself being held onto for decades and centuries, I choose to hold fast to this promise.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us through off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Best Beloved, take courage in this: therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire,’ (Hebrews 12:28-29).
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21).