April 8, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
What consolation do you have as you face everyday demands and the insidious ways of Satan? God has given the believer a covenant that is steadfast and all-sufficient, encompasses our every need, and is irrevocable. His promises are sure and true, exceeding great and precious, "that by these we may be partakers of the divine nature."
To rest in His provisions is to experience "conquering faith" and an intimate relationship with the Lord that is known only by those who "dare to believe" in the midst of the conflicts of life. How can we possibly read in Hebrews 11 of the persevering, triumphant faith of these battle-scarred warriors, who through adversity we know nothing of, "endured, as looking for a city whose builder and maker was God." Think through the words of the writer of Hebrews 11.
"And what shall I say more? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, of Samson, of Jephthah, of David, of Samuel, and of the prophets. Through faith, they subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, waxed valiant in battle, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again; others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, so that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of cruel mockery and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented. (Of whom this world is not worthy.) They wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves."
What is the author's challenge to us today? He says, "Wherefore, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience [with perseverance, with determination, with purpose, with dedicated commitment] the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1,2).
Then he tells us what to do. "Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:12-14).
Finally, he instructs us, "Let us go forth therefore unto Him, without the camp, bearing His reproach. Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:13,15).
To "go forth onto Him without the camp" means to identify with Him in His shameful rejection by those who refuse to submit to the authority of God and refuse the lordship of Christ. This is the place where every committed believer should be, by the side of our blessed Savior.
Where do we stand amidst a "holy scene" like this? Demonstrated commitment is not merely an outward profession, but the reality of an inward possession where Christ sits upon the throne of our heart as SOVEREIGN! God has called us to personal holiness, which demonstrates the presence of Christ in our lives. Persevere with purpose, LOOKING UNTO JESUS!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-04-08
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