VIDEO Let Us Hold Fast Our Confession

When the Bible says to hold fast your confession (see Hebrews 4:14), it is really issuing a warning that we will be subjected to pressures that might cause us to back off what we have said. But we should not back off. We should hold fast our confession, what we profess.

First, we make the right confession, making the words of our mouths agree with the words of Scripture. We articulate what Jesus has done for us, exactly as the Word of God says. For instance, “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “He became poor, that [we] …might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). “He tasted death that we might have life” (see Hebrews 2:9). “He took the curse that we might receive the blessing” (see Galatians 3:13–14). Those are the right confessions. We make them, and then, no matter what pressures come against us, no matter how much things may seem to go the wrong way, we hold fast our confession. That is what makes our faith effective, and that is what releases the high priestly ministry of Jesus in heaven on our behalf.

Faith relates us to that which our senses cannot perceive. As long as we are slaves of our senses, we really cannot move in faith. Paul said this clearly in 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” In other words, what we do, and the way in which we live as Christians, is based on faith—on what we believe, not on what we see or know from our senses. Our senses may tell us one thing, and our faith another—that is when conflict comes. That is why the writer of Hebrews says to make your confession and then to hold it fast. Even if our senses tell us it is not so, if God’s Word says it is so, it is so.

Prayer Response

Thank You, Jesus, that You are the High Priest of our confession. I proclaim that I will make right confessions without backing off, no matter what pressures come. I shall hold fast my confession. Amen.


Jesus’ Sharp Word – Hebrews 4:11-16

When Weakness Is Strength

Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame? Jeremiah 20:18

Drew had been imprisoned for two years because he served Jesus. He’d read stories of missionaries who felt constant joy throughout their incarceration, but he confessed this was not his experience. He told his wife that God had picked the wrong man to suffer for Him. She replied, “No. I think maybe He picked the right man. This was not an accident.”

Drew could likely relate to the prophet Jeremiah, who had faithfully served God by warning Judah that God would punish them for their sins. But God’s judgment hadn’t fallen yet, and Judah’s leaders beat Jeremiah and put him in stocks. Jeremiah blamed God: “You deceived me, Lord” (Jeremiah 20:7). The prophet believed God had failed to deliver. His word had only “brought [him] insult and reproach all day long” (v. 8). “Cursed be the day I was born!” Jeremiah said. “Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” (vv. 14, 18).

Eventually Drew was released, but through his ordeal he began to understand that perhaps God chose him—much like He chose Jeremiah—because he was weak. If he and Jeremiah had been naturally strong, they might have received some of the praise for their success. But if they were naturally weak, all the glory for their perseverance would go to God (1 Corinthians 1:26–31). His frailty made him the perfect person for Jesus to use.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

Where do you feel particularly weak? How might you turn your weakness into a significant spiritual advantage?

Jesus, Your power is made visible in my weakness. I confess my failings so I can boast in You!

Looking for Spiritual Fruit

Spirit-filled believers demonstrate stability, joy, and resilience, even in difficult circumstances Galatians 5:16-26

As believers, we all want the fruit of the Spirit. Yet even unbelievers can sometimes display these qualities, so how can we know if ours are truly from Him? It’s important to realize that the fruit of the Spirit is not something we do; it’s who we are. And these nine admirable qualities are often most evident in us when circumstances are difficult. Here are two characteristics to help us recognize these traits in our life:

  1. Fruitful believers are not controlled by their environment. Everybody experiences trials and pain, but those who are filled with the Spirit don’t lose His fruit because of their situations. They keep their joy even when life is hard. Because the Holy Spirit is in control, He is free to produce His fruit no matter what the circumstances are. 
  2. Fruitful Christians recover quickly after a fall. These believers are not perfect, but they are sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and are quick to repent. In fact, they are grateful for the correction and praise God, not only for revealing their weakness but also for drawing them back to Him. 

None of us produce these amazing qualities by ourselves. Trying harder to be godly will never work. Character transformation occurs when we submit to God, giving Him complete control of our life. Only then will the Spirit be free to produce fruit that remains even in the deepest, darkest storms. 

The Fear of Death

… without hope and without God in the world. — Ephesians 2:12

Millions of people have studied Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven,” and yet I doubt that one-half of one percent of them have the faintest idea what it means.

“The Raven” is the personification of the unbelief that plagued Poe’s life. He was terrified by the grisly specter of death. In this poem he is seeking to find some surcease of sorrow for his lost Lenore. As he lost his wife in real life, so in this poem he loses Lenore, a beautiful, radiant maiden who has been snatched from his arms.

He can find no relief for the suffering and the heartache that grips him. He wants what everyone wants: some ease to the pain of this life. He wants to know that there is a balm in Gilead—a biblical phrase for Jesus Christ. In other words, Poe is asking, “Will I see Lenore again?” And unbelief answers, “Nevermore.”

How different is Christ’s answer to this question. On that glorious Easter morn He rose again from the dead and stepped forth into the light saying, “I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore.” (Revelation 1:18).

Unbelief says: “Nevermore.” Faith says: “Forevermore.” He conquered our fears and fulfills our hopes now and forevermore.

Question to ponder: Do you know people who live in fear of death, without hope and ruled by unbelief?

A Supernatural Potency

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.Romans 15:13

“Ye shall receive power.” By those words our Lord raised the expectation of His disciples and taught them to look forward to the coming of a supernatural potency into their natures.

… It was to be nothing less than God Himself entering into them with the purpose of ultimately reproducing His own likeness within them.

Here is the dividing line that separates Christianity from all occultism and from every kind of oriental cult….They each advise, “Get in tune with the infinite,” or “Wake the giant within you,” or “Tune in to your hidden potential” or “Learn to think creatively.”

All this may have some fleeting value as a psychological shot in the arm, but its results are not permanent because at its best it builds its hopes upon the fallen nature of man and knows no invasion from above. POM088

Oh, how long we struggle! Oh, how hard we try!

Helplessly we labor, Helplessly we sigh

Till Thy Spirit gives us

Power from on high. HCL249

Handling Confusion

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.2 Timothy 1:7

A feeling that Satan delights to arouse in a heart unprotected by a spiritual breastplate is the feeling of confusion. None of us likes confusion, because it erodes our sense of competence. Satan, knowing this, steps in whenever he can to take full advantage of it.

Deep in the center of our being is a compulsive demand to be in control. And to satisfy that demand, we have to live in a predictable, understandable world. Confusion presents a serious challenge to our desire for control and is the enemy of those who demand to have clear answers for everything.

Whenever Satan sees that we are not wearing our spiritual breastplate, he comes to us and says something like this: “Look at the great problems that are all around you—earthquakes, famines, violence, cruelty to children. How can you believe in a God of love when these things are going on in the world?” Sometimes he presses home these arguments with such power that you have no clear answers.

There is only one clear answer against such assaults; it is to put on the “breastplate of righteousness.” You cannot understand particular happenings; you cannot give any explanation. But you do know that the God who clothed you with His righteousness and saved you from a lost eternity must have your highest interests and those of His universe at heart. When you hold on to that, your heart is protected from despair, even if your mind struggles to comprehend what is happening. You can live in peace even though you do not know all the answers.

Prayer

Father God, I see that I can experience security in my heart even when my mind cannot understand Your ways. Hidden in Christ and His righteousness, I am safe. I am so thankful. Amen.

Further Study

2Tm 1:1-7; 1Co 14:33; Isa 26:3; Rm 8:39

Where does our peace stem from?

The Lord Hears

At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name.Malachi 3:16

God has designed His kingdom so that Christians with kindred spirits join together. It is exciting when you find another Christian who shares the same concerns and burdens that you do! Often, God will graciously bring another believer alongside you who will undergird you in the work and concerns God has placed on your heart.

God releases a powerful dimension of His presence to His children when they unite in heart and mind regarding His kingdom. The Bible says that when two or more Christians meet and reverently discuss matters concerning the Lord, God is pleased to listen to them and to respond to their concerns. When two or three believers agree in prayer, God chooses to respond to their unity by making His powerful presence known in their midst (Matt. 18:19–20). When two people walked together and discussed the confusing events of Christ’s crucifixion, Jesus joined them and helped them understand the events of their day (Luke 24:13–32).