Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.Hebrews 10:32 – 35
Do you remember the early days of your salvation? Do you remember the enthusiasm you had for the Lord? The excitement in reading scripture? The burning desire to share your faith with others? The joy that overflowed?
The author of Hebrews asks the believers to whom he is writing to remember the early days of their faith. Theirs was a different kind of rejoicing than most of us experienced. We know little to no persecution in our society for accepting God’s gift of salvation. Of course there are places where naming Christ can bring loss of family, livelihood, even life. The readers of Hebrews experienced suffering, insult, persecution, mistreatment, even imprisonment. This is what they were being challenged to remember!
Notice the phrase, “joyfully accepted the confiscation of property!” Imagine! If anything we hold on tightly to all that we own. But notice why they rejoiced even when others would take their property … they knew they had better and lasting possessions.
Oh to have an eternal perspective!
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,2 Corinthians 4:16-18
but what is unseen is eternal.
I love how the author of Hebrews refers often to “confidence” or “boldness.” Here he admonishes his readers to remember those early days – don’t throw away your confidence, your boldness to stand, to identify fully with Christ!
Oh to remain confident, bold in my faith!
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.Hebrews 10:36 – 39
Oh to be named among those who do not shrink back!
The author of Hebrews reminds his audience to endure, to persevere in doing God’s will. While our salvation is by faith alone, we are taught to to put off our old selves, which belong to our former manner of life and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Our work in persevering is believing! Our work in enduring is allowing the Spirit of God to renew our minds through prayer, reading scripture, the fellowship of like-minded saints. In believing and renewing our minds, we do not shrink back! Instead we STAND!
[We] will stand, for the Lord is able to make [us] stand.Romans 14:4b
Our past, our future, and our present are addressed in this passage. We look back to remember the early days of our salvation, our first love, and to do the things we did then! We look to the future, knowing that what He has prepared for us far outshines any earthly thing we might cling to. And today, in this present day, we do His will, the work He has called us to do!
Human eyes have never seen, human ears have never heard, it’s never entered human hearts: all that God has now prepared for those who truly love him.1 Corinthians 2:9 NTE
I’m thoroughly enjoying capturing my sermon notes. If you are interested in this series, check out our church website, click here, series, “Look to Jesus.” How grateful I am for this series, rich in theology and practical application!
PS – If you want to go back through my notes on the Hebrews series – here are the links: