Summary: This message is about holding on to our confidence in God and not ever casting it away.
Hold On To Your Confidence
Have you ever balled up a piece of paper and thrown it in the trash? Maybe you no longer needed it and you were finished with it. Maybe it was a situation where you were using the paper and you made a mistake on it so you discarded it. Maybe you just dropped it into the trash basket; or maybe you actually acted like you were playing basketball and threw it in as if you were making a free throw shot. Or, you could have been so frustrated that you had made another mistake that you angrily balled up the piece of paper and threw it as hard as you could into the trash. In each situation the key goal was to get the paper into the trash, but it was the emotions behind the action that determined how the trash was thrown away.
Let me give you another example. Have you ever had someone make a promise to you and did not fulfill it? When the promise was made you had confidence in them that they would do just as they had promised. When they did not fulfill their promise you lost your confidence in them. In fact, you threw the confidence you had in them right out the window. There is a difference when you casually stop having confidence in someone and when you get so frustrated that you throw it out the window. Often times when we throw something out the window there is an element of frustration and anger that is attached to it.
This message this morning is about restoring our confidence in God if you have either lost your confidence or thrown it away. There are many Christians included some of you hearing or reading this message today that after having waited on God for a long time to do something in your life when that something did not happen you lost your confidence in Him. There are times when you try to believe and have confidence that God is going to do something for you but your mind takes you back to the times when you believed and it did not happen. Because of your past experiences your mind tells you that what you are believing God for will not happen this time either. When you reach this point your confidence in God has been cast aside. This is the point where our struggle every day is to believe that something is going to be different and God is really going to do what His word promises. As Christians we must hold fast to our profession of faith and not allow our confidence to be cast aside when things do not happen on our time schedule. Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 10.
I. Paul’s Request of the Hebrews
We will begin reading at verse 32. I will be reading from the Amplified version of the Bible.
“(32) But be ever mindful of the days gone by in which, after you were first spiritually enlightened, you endured a great and painful struggle, (33) Sometimes being yourselves a gazingstock, publicly exposed to insults and abuse and distress, and sometimes claiming fellowship and making common cause with others who were so treated. (34) For you did sympathize and suffer along with those who were imprisoned, and you bore cheerfully the plundering of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, in the knowledge and consciousness that you yourselves had a better and lasting possession. (35) Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. (36) For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised." (Hebrews 10:32-36 AMP)
In verse 35 Paul asked the Hebrews not to throw away their confidence. I will come back to this later but first I want to look at the verses preceding verse 35. In verse 32 Paul reminds the Hebrews of things that they had experienced since they first became Christians. What he tells them is that in the days which have since passed they had endured great and painful struggles. Then Paul goes on to describe some other things that they had endured. For example, he said that they themselves had been a gazingstock, they had been publicly expose to insults and abuse and distress, and sometimes they were actually in fellowship and joining together with other who were being treated like them. He reminded them that through all of this they had endured. He told them that they had sympathized and suffered right alongside of those who had been imprisoned and they had borne cheerfully the plundering of their belongings, meaning that they had actually endured people taking what belonged to them. He reminded them of the times when others had confiscated their property and he said through all of this they did it with the knowledge and consciousness that they themselves had a better and lasting possession.