“Let Us Hold on Firmly to the Hope We Profess.” Well, you might wonder why this statement is important and why we should specifically hold on to the Hope that we Profess.
Remember, we, believers in Christ, have declared this Hope when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This Eternal Hope is the reason why we decided to believe in Christ.
In our daily life too, through our words and actions, we keep declaring our faith with this eternal hope in mind.
However, there are times when, no matter how strong we are spiritually, our faith becomes volatile. We waver in our faith and start losing hope. It can be because of external persecution or due to the challenges we face in our personal lives.
Believers in the early church too had similar or more extreme challenges and the Hebrew church is an example of it.
When we read Apostle Paul’s letter, we could find that: The Hebrew Church went through immense sufferings for the sake of their faith in Christ. For e.g.
Those days, the believers were publicly exposed to insult and persecution, some were thrown into prisons, some were tortured and killed, not only that, they also lost all their possessions for the sake of their faith.
However, these persecutions did not weaken the Hebrew church, instead, it flourished in the midst of all these challenges. The believers, stood firm in their faith and Apostle Paul writes the following exhortation in this context.
Similarly, like the Hebrew believers, today’s church is also going through a lot of hardships. The Church is under attack from within and without. Families and marriages are under attack too.
Believers are too stressed spiritually, mentally and financially. In fact, these days, Christian Individuals and families are facing too many challenges. It even seems like believers are confronted with more challenges than the unbelievers.
We live in a unique time in the history of the Church. It is a fact that the church is growing but at the same time, it is also facing innumerable problems; more problems than any time in its history.
The pressure and the temptation on believers to conform to the pattern of this world is immense and many are falling away from their faith.
In a special time like this, what we, the true believers, should do? How do we stand firm in our faith? How do we keep the fire of that Eternal Hope keep burning in our hearts?
Saints, it is by following the examples of the early church, not by following the examples of the modern church.
We need to return to “The faith once delivered to the saints”.
We need to get rid of every form of Spiritual Corruption and Carnality from the midst of us.
See, what Apostle Paul writes further to exhort and encourage the Hebrew believers:
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34You 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.
In the above verses, Apostle Paul is reminding the Hebrews of their sacrifice for the sake of their faith. He also tells them how horribly they were persecuted and how they held on to their faith in the midst of those persecutions because of the hope that they had in Christ.
Again, in verse 35, he instructs them to hold on to the confidence that they have in Christ and he also assures them that- “it will be richly rewarded.”
Similarly, in this age of deception, when we, as believers, go through difficulties mentally, spiritually, socially and financially, we too need to hold on to the word of God more and do what it says and teaches us.
Follow the examples of saints in the Bible who lived holy and blameless lives before both God and Man. Search and study the WORD like the Bereans and fill the hearts with that life-giving MANNA from above.
Saints, please remember, God Almighty is the one who called and separated you from this fallen world. HE has already chosen you and seated you with Christ in the heavenly realms.
See what Apostle Paul writes in the letter to the Ephesians.
Again, let us go through Ephesians 1, 13-14.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.(Ephesians 1, 13-14)
So, to sum up, let me state this ultimate reality once again:
The Eternal Hope in Christ that is burning in our hearts has already been guaranteed and in the fulness of time it will materialize and we will experience it in the Heavenly realms.
So, no matter what happens in this earthly life, it is of utmost importance for us to hold on Firmly to the Hope we Profess.
Saints please remember:
This world and its desires will pass away, but the one who does the will of God will live for ever. Amen