Hebrews 3, 4, 6, 7. Part 14b.
Last week I shared about the certainty we have in Christ. He will hold onto us, never letting us go, thus enabling us to hold fast to him. The Lord made it abundantly clear, his character on exhibition, so that we would be convinced that we can trust God. He cannot lie. He cannot break his oath.
With a passion similar to parental concern, the authors return to this topic throughout the letter. They reminded these believers, and us, of these promises, so that we, along with them, might have hope and gain the strength to endure:
17 “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV).
With these two never-to-be-broken promises and commitments — his promise and his oath — we are secure. And so, we must ask ourselves: Since God can be trusted, how will we continue in his path and walk in his ways, doing what he has instructed? How will we hold fast?Since God can be trusted, how will we continue in his path and walk in his ways, doing what he has instructed? How will we hold fast? #livingbyfaith #godsgotthis Click To Tweet
Two years ago, my husband realized he needed a better paying job to accomplish the financial goals necessary for our retirement. Many past years of a bad economy, frequent calamities, flood, and many health trials made this a requirement. We prayed, God opened a door, and sooner than expected, we were on our way. All that remained was for our house to sell.
This was accomplished right on time. But then, mold was discovered in the attic, resulting from a forty-year-old construction mistake. Not our fault. And yet, we lost all of our equity, coming away with only enough to pay off the mortgage with nothing left for the purchase of another home.
This was a small trial compared to our past hardships, but inherent in it were long-term consequences. We reviewed the situation, confirming our confidence that we had followed the Lord’s leading. And then, we chose to praise God and to trust his good purpose for these unexpected events. We became renters after being homeowners since 1982. Even if we didn’t understand, we knew our Savior had a plan.
Now, two years later, my husband has retired, and we’re still renters. We still don’t understand. We never expected to be in this place, and yet, like Abraham and Sarah, we’re now tent dwellers, free to move when we must. Perhaps, one day, the Lord will let us know the whys. Perhaps not.
Yet still, not knowing why, the test came: Would we still trust God? Would we lose faith? Would we get mad at God? Would we walk away from Jesus?
No! We AGAIN reviewed God’s promises. We remembered that he ALWAYS works ALL THINGS together for our good, as IT WILL BE with this current situation. We focused on this truth and reigned in our disappointments, aiming our thoughts and hearts toward acceptance. All of these actions were deliberate, based on decades of learning to trust in God’s faithfulness.
This isn’t the time for bitterness. This isn’t the time for what ifs or angst. We could easily become discouraged. So, instead, what solution did we choose?
“We fix our eyes on a better promise, so that “we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18b-20 NIV).
Our hope is in Jesus and our eternity with him, not in an earthly home.
Our small trial is nothing compared to what the recipients of this letter faced. Their property had been taken, their reputations destroyed, their money seized, and they faced imprisonment, torture, and death. So, if this is the remedy for any doubt or questioning they experienced, then surely in this small test of ours, these words will help us to hold fast as well.
We are heirs to the promise of eternal life. We cannot lose this inheritance to flood, mold, or calamity. Jesus has secured our eternity. It cannot be taken away. Nothing can separate us from him. Our hope in Christ is an anchor for our souls. We are firm and secure in him forever.We are heirs to the promise of eternal life. We cannot lose this inheritance. Jesus has secured our eternity. It cannot be taken away. Click To Tweet
On that we have set our minds. This requires self discipline and faith. Like the first-century believers, we don’t know why God let it happen, and we have no recourse. Like them, we will depend on the Lord. Like them, we will repeatedly fix our eyes on Jesus and continue to serve the Lord.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God: 22LET 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. 23 LET US HOLD UNSWERVINGLY TO THE HOPE WE PROFESS, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And LET US CONSIDER HOW WE MAY SPUR ONE ANOTHER ON toward love and good deeds, 25 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 (Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV).
Because Jesus is our high priest, because we can draw near to God, because we believe, because he is faithful, as the authors encouraged the readers to continue in Christ, so shall we endure and strive to obey the instructions given. Each “let us” in the original language indicates that it is to be done habitually, continually, and repeatedly, driven by this confidence we have in Christ.
The One who promised is unswervingly faithful, never leaving nor forsaking us. Earlier in the letter, the great worth of Christ was also mentioned as the means for holding fast:
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, LET US HOLD FAST our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 LET US then WITH CONFIDENCE DRAW NEAR to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV).
We are told to lean hard on the One who can sympathize with us in this agony of questioning, this fear of the future, this desire to retreat. Jesus was tempted in all things, just as we are in our trials, yet without sin. We lean hard on the One who never falters, whose life is indestructible.We are told to lean hard on Jesus, the One who can sympathize with us in this agony of questioning, this fear of the future, this desire to retreat. We lean hard on the One who never falters. Click To Tweet
With total confidence and full assurance, we can draw near and rest in him, and HE WILL BE THERE FOR US. Even when our emotions are shattered and our doubts and questions large, the Lord enables us to walk in faith. He heals and upholds us as we rely and trust in him.
Where are you at right now? How do these promises empower you?