Pastor Daniel Kolenda
‘But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: ‘ – Hebrews 10:32
Life is suffering, and the more you live, the more you suffer. There is no escape from suffering in life. Those who serve the Lord have a secret weapon in the midst of trials and tribulations that the world knows nothing about. Because of this, we are able to go through these deep waters and overcome both literal and metaphorical storms that we go through in our lives.
That secret is faith. And faith is trust. Furthermore, faith is trust in God who is trustworthy because He’s proven Himself to us over and over again.
Faith is letting go of that which cannot save you and taking hold of the only hope between Heaven and Earth. Imagine a ship has sunk at sea and you are holding on to the wreckage for dear life. Once the ship goes underwater all of your hope is gone. But then someone shows up to your rescue with life preservers and you have to now let go of the wreckage. On one hand, you are letting go of something that cannot save you and will eventually cause you to drown but on the other hand, you are taking a hold of something that will save you.
Similarly, when you let go of the world and cling to Jesus, you are taking a hold of the only hope between Heaven and Earth for the saving of your soul. Letting go of what the world offers you such as safety, security, and comfort, and taking hold of Jesus, is the way you ought to live (by faith) every single day thereafter. When you grab a hold of a life preserver if you’re stranded at sea, you receive the confidence to handle whatever life throws at you.
If your trust in Christ is able to save you from hell, fire, and damnation, it can save you from anything else. If it can save you from the ultimate difficulties, it can save you from any lesser storm, no matter how significant it might seem at that moment.
DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR FAITH
The writer of Hebrews reminds the Jewish believers of the confidence they had when they clung to him during the early days of their conversions. It’s obvious that they are going through a very difficult time and some of them might have been tempted to give up and look for other ways to comfort themselves in the season of difficulty. But they are reminded of what they have passed through before. They overcame humiliation and rejection because of their decision to follow Jesus. Some of them were even imprisoned for their faith and even their property was taken from them, but even when they lost everything they still rejoiced because they knew they had riches laid up in Heaven.
God was not oblivious to the price they paid. Hebrews 10:34-35 says, “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
God is not unrighteous to forget your works and labor of love. God knows you’ve come a long way and your investment is compounding in Heaven. If you can only see how big of a payday is coming, it will encourage you. But right now, you may be facing the most difficult time of your life and be tempted to throw in the towel. You may be asking yourself what to do now. It’s very simple. You hold on to the life preserver. In fact, hold on tighter and double down.
Maybe you used to believe and you held on to Jesus and it got you through a lot of trials and difficulties. But now you’re going through the biggest trial of your life. So what do you do now? You just double down on doing the same thing that you’ve been doing since you put your faith in Jesus Christ. Do not loosen your grip, hold on now as ever before.
DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE
It’s easy to trust the Lord when things are relatively good and easy. It can even be said that you trust the Lord even when you don’t need to trust Him. When you have money in the bank or your health is at a great peak, you trust Him, but when things get really tough, that’s when you begin to doubt Him and start questioning. But when things get difficult, that’s the time you need the life preserver the most. When the sun goes down and the waves start rising, you need to grab hold of the life preserver. Do not hold onto it when you’re in the boat and the sea is calm, but when things start to get rough you let go. That’s when you should be holding on.
Hebrews 10:35 says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” When you’re drowning is the worst time to throw away the life preserver. Imagine a person who has gone through many trials and tribulations and trusted the Lord and their confidence has been noticed by Heaven and they’ve accrued compounding interest of reward that they are supposed to receive one day but then at the very end, they decide to throw in the towel and lose everything. This is what you are told not to do in Hebrews 10:35.
Hebrews 10:36 says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.“ What do you need in the most difficult time of your life? Endurance.
When a storm is approaching and you do all that you can do to prepare yourself, there is nothing you can do when the storm hits. That’s what faith is. You grab a hold of the life preserver, double down on your faith, and endure until the storm passes by.
There will be days when you feel discouraged and as though it’s the worst day of your life, but Jesus will come and He will not delay. Don’t throw away your confidence. Even the most difficult trials and tribulations are quite small. It will be okay.
And on the days when you feel okay, you will look back and remember that you held onto your confidence. And if you hold onto your confidence, for eternity you will reap the dividends of your investment of faith that you made on the worst day of your life. When you’ve given an account of this day, the Lord will say well done. You didn’t give in the towel but you kept a tender heart toward Him.
Hebrews 10:39 says, “But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” You’re not a coward. You have the Holy Spirit on your side and you are going to be victorious.
What do you do in the most difficult time of your life? Are you tempted to throw in the towel? Are you holding onto the metaphorical life preserver?
Are you someone who shrinks back? Or are you someone who perseveres?