This post is part of a series. Read the previous post here: https://tinyurl.com/vexlmw6
READ HEBREWS CHAPTER 12 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/o4267mg
LISTEN TO HEBREWS CHAPTER 12 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/syyl3mz
Hebrew Chapter 12: stay calm and trust Jesus
Are you a runner? Have you ever been to a race or a marathon? Even if you haven't perhaps you can find some value in Hebrews12:1 which tells us to "run with perseverance in the race marked out for us." It amazes me the things we as humans are willing to put our trust in. I think of activities such as sky diving, white water rafting, or rock climbing. There is a certain level of danger and risk to each of these activities. Marathon running puts a lot of pressure and strain on your body- specifically your joints and your heart. Many people skydive or run a marathon for the first time- not really knowing exactly what is in store for them. Yet they do it anyway. Even some of my own personal hobbies such as figure skating pose a decently high level of risk. Why are we so willing to risk it all for some things and not for others?
Well, for one thing, we've seen people do these activities before us. We find security in knowing that other people have done it successfully and we tell ourselves we can do it too. We also like numbers, statistics, and data. We calculate our chances and decide if it is "safe enough". It would be a lot easier for you to convince me to go rock climbing than it would be to convince me to go to the moon for example. The risk is statistically lower- and the opportunity to climb a rock is greater than the opportunity to rocket into space!
How interesting it is that we are able to take certain risks with worldly activities but sometimes struggle to apply the same mindset to having faith in God. At some point in time the first person jumped out of a plane with a parachute, the first person ran a marathon, and the first person climbed a cliff. The first men walked on the moon in 1969. They were the trailblazers, the individuals who showed us it could be done. Jesus is our example- he is the Neil Armstrong of life. Jesus is our trailblazer. He has shown us how it can be done through scripture.
The first part of Hebrews 12 tells us not to get discouraged or upset when the Bible tells us to live our lives differently than how we have been. The Bible can often be seen as constraining and limiting our lifestyles, but if we trust Jesus we will start to see that the Bible is actually freeing. When we are speaking with coaches, trainers, and experts we value thier advice. We alter our techniques to fit their feedback. We do this because we want to get to where they are in our activities. We trust their guidance. The Bible can do the same for us. The Bible tells me that if I live my life according to a certain standard, I have a 100% guarantee of happiness and safety... either now or later on in eternity.
Does that sound strange to you? "later on in eternity"? What is the point in doing things right if I don't get any blessings until my life is over! The point is, earthly life does not equal total life. We often forget this... but our time on earth is a sliver of the timeline of our lives.
Our destiny is heaven. Look at what Hebrews 12:22-27 says:
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
There is more to our future than jobs or cities or the earth. If we believe in Jesus, we must believe in what he says. He is a true expert. As our faith is being shaken with fear of death and fear of the loss of those we love, we must cling tighter to our road map- the Bible. When we read the Bible we gain access to the facts, the stories, and the proof that we can root our faith in Christ. Many times when I've started doubting God or what he can do in the world I realize that it has been a while since I have read the Bible for myself. Has it been a while for you too? Maybe it's time to read again.
Instead of giving you points to ponder today, I challenge you to spend some extra time reading some faith-boosting Bible verses. Here are a few of my favs: https://www.openbible.info/topics/faith