By Ricky Chelette, Executive Director
Headlines today are filled with uncertainties. From political unrest to wars and rumors of wars, our connected lives stream a never-ending cycle of ever-increasing chaos and tragedy. At times it is overwhelming; at other times, seemingly hopeless. But at all times, persistent. The state of our world often causes us to question faith, humanity, government, life, happiness, spirituality, and even God. How do we survive in a world of constant change?
Perseverance. It is a character quality the writer of Hebrews beautifully exhorts for those who know and love the Lord as their Savior. In Hebrews 3:14, he says, “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
What is this “original confidence” we are to hold firm? Believers are to hold firm to the glory of the Gospel that was received when we first trusted in Christ.
Do you remember when you first heard about Jesus? Do you recall the wonder and awe that filled your soul when you discovered that God loves YOU!? Can you still sense the excitement you felt when you surrendered your life to His Lordship and vowed to follow Him? Can you still recall the glory of faith, the freedom of the forgiveness of sin, and the joy of adoption as God’s beloved son/daughter?
Unlike many Christians who came to know Christ as a very young child, I didn’t come to know the Lord until I was 18. I knew of Jesus from a factual perspective, but I had no idea He desired a relationship with me. I had no idea He wanted to call me His son, empower me for His purposes, and allow me to join Him in a greater adventure for my life than I could ever have imagined. Though my memory fails in many ways, I remember vividly that night at the side of my bed when I thought all hope was lost. I remember crying out into my darkened room for God to do something to show me He was real. I remember being overwhelmed with His goodness and the realization that the things I had read of Him and heard about Him were not mere words, but the Way, the Truth and the Life I so desperately desired.
I am privileged to tell my story over and over again as I teach. I never grow weary of God’s miraculous work in my life. I did nothing to save myself, and I was certainly not worthy of His grace or His goodness, but He found me. He loved me. He lavished upon me what my heart most needed – Jesus. He promised never to leave me or forsake me. And He has been more than faithful!
This truth is my “original confidence” that the preacher is writing about in Hebrews. Though the world may radically change and seek to dissuade me from believing God’s Word is true, the writer of Hebrews calls all of us to remember the One who changed our lives and to keep our eyes on Him.
In fact, he opens the book with this proclamation in verses 2-4:
“But in these last days He [God] has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
Our confidence is never in the things of the world, never in the political stability, governmental leadership, or sin-evoked chaos and unrest. Our hope is rooted securely in the completed work of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God. He is upholding the universe by His very Word, which is power.
As the world seems to spin out of control, we can rest assured that the God is in charge. The writer’s exhortation to us is to persevere with our eyes focused on Him, our hearts submitted to His will, and minds attentive to His Word and the unchanging Gospel, lest we drift away (2:1).
Do you remember the time you gave your heart to Jesus? Do you remember the passion you had to follow Him and live for Him? Is that passion still present? Has that passion grown dim? What do you need to believe to reignite that “original confidence” that will allow you to persevere?