Staying the Course of Faith
TUESDAY JANUARY 12, 2021
“…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
There was a bright light, he fell to the ground groping around because he could not see. He must have wondered what has happened, because only a few moments earlier he had been on a important journey to Damascus. You may know this story very well, about Saul, the persecutor of Christians in Jerusalem. The story continues that the now blind Saul who was led by the hand of other traveling with him to the house of a man named Judas who lived on a street called Straight. (Acts 9: 3-9).
After three days of being blind, the Holy Spirit led Ananias, a devout man to visit Saul to pray for him to restore his sight. Though reluctant, because of Saul’s reputation, he went, prayed for him, and his sight was restored. The Bible records that: “something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again”. (Acts 9:5). Saul is also filled with the Holy Spirit, is converted as a follower of Jesus Christ and is renamed as Paul.
This same Paul is the famous Apostle whose many letters Christians read, memorize and discuss so often in Bible Studies and Sermons. A murderous rebel, as he was known to be is transformed by the power of God, and becomes a famed Apostle who is favoured by God. He formed and nurtured many churches during his ministry; he writes letters of encouragement, instruction and correction to the churches in Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus and other surrounding areas.
The Epistle of Hebrews is attributed to Paul written as letters to Jews who converted to Christianity. At the time Paul wrote to them, their faith was faltering because of strong Jewish influences which questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ. Paul had experienced his own share of tribulation being ship wrecked and imprisoned in Rome; yet he held firm to his new found faith in Jesus Christ. He knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the true Messiah, and Saviour of the world, so he sought to encourage the Hebrew people to hold firm even in the face of opposition..
Giving consideration to your own faith journey:
- Have your faith in God ever been tested to the point of wanting to give up?
- If yes; how did you respond?
- What Scripture passage helped you to hold firm?
As we continue to explore the theme: Answering the Call of God, it is important to accept the reality that the decision to follow Christ is not a trouble-free adventure. There are so many stories of characters in the Bible who suffered greatly for the choice they made. To the Hebrews, Paul says:
…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2
For Jesus, His fate for believing on God, the Father was crucifixion; yet His reward is to be seated at the right hand of God. What then does this mean for us who strive to live our lives trusting God, and being a disciple of Christ? I believe that Paul speaks of Jesus’ position of authority; being seated at the right hand of God to bring awareness of the blessing that is bestowed on the faithful who stay the course. Paul again writes to the Hebrews; in chapter 11:6, it states:
…for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”Hebrews 11:6
LET US PRAY
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have called me, and I know that this is a precious gift. I appreciate the gift of Your Son, Jesus Who died for my transgressions. In answering Your call, I know that I cannot rely on my own strength to live in a way that makes me blameless in Your sight.
As I give thought to the day when I made the commitment to walk with You, I desire to celebrate it with thanksgiving and praise. Your Word teaches me to give thanks with a grateful heart, so I want to honour Your word and thank You for Your many blessings in my life.
Please give me the strength to stay on the path of pursuing Your righteousness so that all your plans for me will be fulfilled as you lead me towards the destiny You have prepared in advance. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
I pray in Jesus’s Name. Amen