Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works. Hebrews 10:23-24
My confession is what I say outloud. My testimony is comprised of far more than the planned three-minute speech I give to a group. It’s what I say while I live the rest of my life. Whether I’m reacting to minor frustrations or major upheaval, I’m to neither give in, nor give up, on my faith. Not for any reason. Not for even the worst of things.
Just last weekend, I got away for 24 hours to assess an area of my life where faith had become difficult. I had begun to mutter words of unbelief and complaint. I spent those hours, late into the night, repenting about what I had been confessing. God, through the Holy Spirit, asked me this question. “How has this hard thing benefitted you spiritually?” Though it was not immediate, God gave me the grace to write a new confession. With a pen in my hand, I admitted that pain had driven me to God’s arms. Suffering had been my shaping agent, making me more like Jesus. I had memorized more scripture and cherished more promises because of the darkness of the night. Since coming home, nothing has changed but I’m back in the fight and have God’s perspective.
When I embrace the promises of God, I don’t expect them to come to pass immediately. Historically, this rarely happened. Every follower of God was called to a life of faith, standing on the God’s words even when all evidence begged to disprove it. Every one of them faltered along the way and while some gave up, others had a fresh encounter with God and got back on their feet.
Where are you today? Let one who is in the middle of the battle speak to you. At the center of this struggle is an enemy who weaves together seemingly ironclad arguments against God. He knows that hanging on is exhausting for us. He knows that the temptation to give in sounds appealing and even prudent. He’ll remind us that fighting doesn’t appear to have gotten us anywhere and that if we give up, we can finally have rest from the battle. And part of that is true. When we give in and cry uncle, the noise of the battle stops. Initially, there’s quiet and a sense of relief. But then comes the dark cloud of oppression that accompanies hopelessness. Darkness overtakes us.
Can you imagine how much clearer things would be if you and I could see Jesus, and Satan, standing in front of us right now. We would be enveloped in the love of Jesus. And we would be horrified by the sight of Satan. I need to remember who is speaking what. It is Jesus that calls me to trust Him. Looking into His face, that wouldn’t be hard at all. And if I could look into the face of pure evil, it is the god of this world that perpetrates, and then celebrates, the heinous crimes that make me cringe. He is the one who calls me to defect.
I remember the face, and the nature and character, of the One who gives life-giving promises and the face, and nature and character, of the one who speaks words that will encourage me to self-destruct. The Lover of my soul says, “hold fast and confess your faith in me.”
It’s not hard, Jesus. Amen