August 24th

Persevere in the Faith

Don't ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity. Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.  "For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.  And a righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away."  But we are not like those who turn their backs on God and seal their fate. We have faith that assures our salvation. Hebrews 10:32-39 NLT 

Many people are persecuted for believing in Jesus Christ.  This passage was addressed to people who had suffered for being Christians.  The writer encouraged them to persevere in their faith throughout the trials they faced.  He gave them several points about how to keep standing in faith.  These included:

·        Remember that better things are waiting for you in eternity

·        Trust confidently in the Lord no matter what happens (don’t give doubt a foothold)

·        Remember the great reward that trusting in the Lord will bring

·        Pursue patient endurance so you will continue in God’s will

·        Remember that Jesus is coming back soon and will find pleasure in those who have lived by faith in God 

These points can be useful to any person who is seeking to live for God, especially those who are seeking freedom from addictions.  The enemy seeks to destroy our faith, weakening our resolve to live for God.  He may use temptations and trials of all sorts to do this.  We can use the above points to reinforce our faith when the attacks come our way.   

Faith trusts in God for strength and provision. For example, we need faith when we’re facing sexual temptations. Trusting in God to meet our sexual needs can be very challenging, especially for the single person who can’t see a potential spouse on the horizon, or the teen who struggles with the raging hormones, or the married person whose spouse isn’t interested in sex.  God, as the author of the faith that is in us, will give us the faith to remain patient and allow his timing and purpose to prevail in our lives.  

God is a good God, and he will not let us down if we trust in him and honor him with how we live.  We can take our desires, needs and concerns to God and petition him in prayer for help (Philippians 4:6-7).  Having done so, we can then rest in his perfect peace, trusting that he will answer us one way or another.  The Bible says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”(James 1:12 NKJV).  When we stand in faith and endure temptations, we can expect blessings from God that will be worth the wait.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for suffering for my sake on the cross. Thank you for authoring in me the faith to live for you.  I repent from doubting you and not acting on that faith fully. I believe that you are God and that you reward those who diligently seek you.  Please help me overcome any unbelief that remains in my heart.  Please renew my passion to live for you.  I now receive the provision and faith that I need for life and godliness (take a moment to receive from the Lord).  I praise you, Lord Jesus!  I bless your name!  Amen.”