How to Stand Firm in Your Faith
by Margaret Silvester
9 November 2022« Previous Day | Next Day »
The main purpose of the book of Hebrews was to encourage believers who were being strongly persecuted for their faith. They are urged to hold firmly to the faith they profess. The writer teaches about Jesus because knowing more about Jesus and becoming more like Him would enable them to stand firm in their faith throughout the storms of life even when their faith was tested to its limits. They were told to fix their thoughts on Jesus and to fix their eyes on Jesus; in other words, to look away from themselves and their troubles and look to Jesus who would carry them through.
As you read this seed you may be experiencing persecution for being faithful to God’s word. Alternatively, there may be other causes for concern in your life which weigh heavily upon you and may overwhelm your thoughts at times. To the original readers of our text for today Moses was the greatest and most humble man who had ever lived. They were not told to reflect so much on Moses, but on Jesus who is greater than the greatest. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). That is incomparable love, grace, and mercy.
The enemy seeks to sow seeds of unbelief – to put seeds of doubt in our minds. His words to Eve in the Garden still echo today, “Did God say?” We are assured in Scripture that God can be trusted, even in life’s most difficult times. If we are to stand firm in our faith, we must obey the clear command to fix our thoughts on Jesus. ‘Holy brothers and sisters who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest’ (Hebrews 3:1). This, of course, is a continual process. We are to never take our thoughts off Him. Fixed on Him we will be kept from despair and from turning away. By His grace we will stand firm and immoveable in faith.
In addition to fixing their thoughts on Jesus, the Hebrew Christians were encouraged to fix their eyes on Jesus. In the words of the chorus to an old hymn, ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, let nobody else take His place. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’ (Helen Howarth Lemmel 1922).
Life was hard, persecution and discouragement surrounded them to the extent that some of them were in danger of becoming weary and losing heart. The life they were called to live is likened to a long-distance race, which is strenuous. It demands dedication, self-discipline, and steady perseverance to complete it. Instead of dwelling on their hardships and difficulties, they had to constantly remind themselves of Jesus – the One who had gone before them. He endured shame and death for the joy of doing the Father’s will.
Because life has its ups and downs, it is good for us to constantly remind ourselves of truth and not try to conjure up feelings. We are called to be single minded and consistent in our faith, as we head towards the prize at the end of the race. The Holy Spirit will show us the things we need to get rid of which hinder our progress, and hidden sin which entangles us. With our thoughts fixed on Jesus, and our eyes fixed on Jesus, we are secure. If they are not fixed on Him, they will surely be fixed on things that hinder - usually self-centred things. Ultimately, it’s all about the heart and who sits on its throne.
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