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A Bible Lesson from Hebrews

The writer of Hebrews encourages us to hold on; don't give up!

Life is tough. Can I get a witness?  Schedules overwhelm us, circumstances seem to crush us, burdens drown us, fears engulf us, and doubts inundate our thoughts, emotions, and outlook.  Is it any wonder we are tired?

Photo credit:  Pixbay

With so many things trying to steal our focus and attention, it is easy to feel defeated. I think the writer of Hebrews can attest to feeling this way as well.

Anyone who has walked through the fire, the valley, the hardships, and the struggles and persevered can testify that our eyes must stay focused on the only One who is our hope.

Some days, our hope, and ultimately our faith, is all we can hold on to. Not because our grip is strong but because He who promised is faithful to hold on to us as well.

Holding On - Hebrews 10

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:23-25

The writing in Hebrews 10:23 is in an active, present tense command.  When life overwhelms us, often times we tend to take a passive approach. We want to just sit and wish for our circumstances or situations to change. Yet, there is nothing passive about verse 23. It says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” Other translations tell us to hold strong, unswervingly, tightly, and with a firm grip.

A Choice to Hold ON

I can remember a time in my childhood when I went on vacation with some family friends. We went swimming in a creek area and I remember jumping off of a rock into the stream. I vividly remember being pulled under and swiftly downstream by the current.  I can remember trying to yell out for help as I was thrashing in the water. Most of all, I remember a stranger’s arm as he reached out, grabbed me, and pulled me to safety and over to shallow water.

When the man grabbed me, I remember latching onto him as well. I held strong, tightly, and with a firm grip to him because he was my only hope of not drowning. I can assure you that there was nothing passive about my desire and hope to live in that moment.  I made a choice to hold onto the one who could save me in that moment.

When life seems to drown us, we have to make a choice as well. We can sit and let the waves crash over us time and time again, or we can actively hold fast, strong, unswervingly, tight, and with a firm grip to our only source of hope, Jesus Christ. 

Holding on Together

Yet, sometimes, even that is hard to do on our own. We don’t want to drown or become overwhelmed, but the fight has left us weary and defeated. It’s hard to hold on without wavering.  We know God is faithful, we trust in His promises, but life is just hard.

God knew there would be days (ok, sometimes weeks, months, and even years) like this which is why He never intended for us to walk this journey alone.

Hebrews 10:24 really stuck out to me this morning. It says, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”  I read this verse in several other translations this morning to get a clearer picture. The HCSB tells us to “be concerned about one another.”

God has placed us here on earth for Him and for one another. Galatians 6:2 says to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  John 15:12-13 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

We need each other.  The rest of verse 24 gives us a directive for each other’s lives. It says to be concerned about one another in order to promote, stir up, stimulate, inspire, motivate, provoke, and help each other to love and to good works. (NKJV, HCSB, NASB, NLT, MSG, ESV, NIV, NCV, VOICE).

My translation would be that sometimes we all just need a little push! We need a reminder to refocus our eyes on our Savior instead of our circumstances.  We need a gentle shove (or, in my case, a swift kick in the pants) to remind us to tighten our grip on the One who is faithful.

We need others in our life who aren’t afraid to get dirty and who will climb in our pit with us. They don’t climb in to wallow in the pit with us but to help pull us out onto higher ground. But, sometimes, we need to be the ones to climb in the pit with others to give them our hand to boost them back out. 

Photo credit:  Pixbay

I can think back to times in my own life when a friend came along for such a time as this. Hebrews 10 is a reminder that we need to do the same for others. Yes, life is tough.  We need to surround ourselves with those who will help encourage, push, inspire, and motivate us to keep on holding on.

It is no accident that Hebrews 10:25 follows this command to encourage one another.  Isn’t that just like God!  Verse 25 says “this is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate the Day dawning.” (Passion translation)

Whether life is in the pits, or when life is all roses, let’s not forsake gathering together with other believers. You and I need each other in the good times, bad times, hard times, crummy times, celebrations, and letdowns.

Trials and tribulations are inevitable. I’ve heard it said before that we are either going into a storm, in a storm, or coming out of a storm. Rain is going to fall and storms in our life are going to come.  Let’s not forget to hold on tightly to Jesus, be concerned about others, encourage others to hold on, and surround ourselves with God’s people.

Chances are they have either been where you are or walking a similar path as you are on. Let’s walk together, spurring one another on, and especially as we see the big Day of His appearing approaching. 


“God doesn’t just give us promises; He gives us each other.”   Bob Goff

By Joy Thomas © Copyright 2018 

Discussion:

  1. When is a time you felt like you were all alone and drowning in life?  To whom did you turn for help?
  2. Is there anything in your life that you are holding on to instead of Jesus such as job security, financial security, a relationship, etc?  
  3. Who is someone in your life right now that you can reach out to and help them hold on to Christ?
  4. Are you spending time together with other believers as the author of Hebrews encourages us to do?  Where are you plugged in serving God with others?

Worship

Close your eyes and listen to Britt Nicole's song - "Hanging On".  Come to Christ in a time of worship and prayer thanking Him for holding on to you and providing His Church as a family to stand by you and help you hold on to Him.


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