In Hebrews we are told to “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” (Heb. 10:35 AV) How revealing are the words of this text in terms of cluing the reader in on the modus operandi of the adversary. Set before all in this solitary verse is an admonition to continually cling to one’s confidence in God. The persecuted saints to whom this letter was addressed have been engaged in a test of endurance administered by the powers of darkness. Echoing from the words of this verse is the revelation that everything adverse that a child of God may experience is designed to divest them of full faith in the God of glory whose character is one of unfailing impeccability and purposeful love. It’s almost as if the writer was telling God’s people that their faith or confidence was not a thing that Satan could take, but instead was theirs to lose should they be persuaded of him to let it go.
In the 10th chapter of Hebrews, it can readily be understood that the means through which Satan can dupe a believer into giving up their confidence in God is through crisis. Often the adversary launches an unrelenting attack against every child of God in order to change their mind about both the character and ability of God. And, in the case of attacks or crises of great intensity, Satan strives to place demonic blinders on the eyes of those who would believe in such a way that the only thing they can see is the tumult and turmoil of their current predicament.
The endgame of Satan and his minions is the demoralization of all who would trust God. The question is: Will we let him do it?
It is interesting that the Hebrew writer points the focus of this group of believers backward amid their existing state of crisis. He challenges them with the following words: “But remember the earlier days, after you saw the light. You stood your ground while you were suffering from an enormous amount of pressure.” (Heb. 10:32 CEB) In other words, he reminds them of past pressurized situations which they endured and from which they were ultimately delivered at the mighty hand of God. This practice could prove to be helpful today in the midst of a deadly gruesome worldwide demonic viral attack. Those who know the Lord can cling to continued confidence in Him based on their previous experiences in Him. May we all be reminded as we confront current crises with the words of this old hymn of the church:
Just think of His goodness to you;
Yes, think of His goodness to you;
Though storms o’er thee sweep,
He is able to keep;
O think of His goodness to you.
We are here today because He kept us yesterday. Hold on to your confidence in God!
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.