Monday, September 26, 2011

Be Encouraged!

"34 You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your belongings were seized, you endured your loss gladly, because you knew that you still possessed something much better, which would last forever.35 Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward.36 You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises. Hebrews 10:34-36 GNT

Are you in this place? The place that the author of Hebrews was when he wrote this passage? As a fun fact, to this day they do not know for sure who wrote the book of Hebrews--it is never really clearly identified.

But what is amazing is that this author, who was experiencing life way back in 40-60A.D.--needed to encourage the people of his day the same way the people of our day need to be encouraged.

You see, back then, you could lose everything--your freedom, your possessions, your livelihood, your family--just for being a Christ-follower. For being true to your faith, you could die, be rejected, or treated as a criminal.

But through it all, it seems as though our ancestors did not regret, but joyfully accepted those events. Why? Because they kept their vision, "hope"--on the prize before them--Jesus Christ. Because they knew that the gift of Jesus was so much more rewarding than anything that they could ever hope to have here on earth in material possessions.

These days in America are no different. Oh, you may not get stoned to death or put into jail for believing in our Heavenly Father. But there are other things that attack us, other ways that little stones are being thrown at us--the world's values, the idea that you can sin and be forgiven, just to turn around and do the same sin again and again. That we need to put up with things, just to make everyone feel good. That as long as what you are doing isn't hurting anyone, it's OK.

We are attacked by the media, the shows on TV, the articles in the papers and magazines, the Internet, the movies--everywhere we look, we find that our values of purity and right and wrong and what is acceptable in our Father's eyes are being challenge. Slowly, bit-by-bit.

Then when you stand up for God's ways and values, you get stones thrown at you by those who call you judgmental. They challenge you, "Where is the love of Jesus in you?; and the list goes on.

What I see in this passage is this:

1. Don't get weary doing good in your faith walk with the Lord.
2. Stand up for God and His principles, no matter what the cost.
3. Be encouraged that even though it may be hard and at times you become tired of the attacks, keep your eyes on the greater vision, the greater hope--Heaven and your life there.

Our God is there to help you all along the way. How? By imparting His third person of the trinity, our helper the Holy Spirit, to come and reinforce us when we feel weak. To guide us when we feel lost. To encourage us when others want to discourage us. And to love you when you feel as though no one else does.

Our God IS an AWESOME God!

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