Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hold Fast!

 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”  --Hebrews 10:19-23, New Living Translation

What a blessing this passage was to me this morning! Yesterday was a full day of counseling for me. The first was someone I’ve been seeing for a while, and she is making good progress. Next came a new counselee whom I had never met before, but I had a general idea of the challenges she was facing, and was prepared to help her. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and challenge, and we both were refreshed by the word of God. My last appointment, however, was quite different. I left feeling somewhat discouraged, and wondering if I am really qualified to become a Certified Biblical Counselor.

The person God placed before me yesterday is in a place of great desperation. While she is a believer, her problems are so overwhelming that she sometimes questions whether she is truly in Christ or not. While I had read her information, it had not accurately reflected her level of despair and hopelessness. I was somewhat surprised by the intensity of her difficulties, and by the sinfulness of her responses so far.

But this morning, the Lord brought me this truth in Hebrews 10, and I was greatly encouraged. The reminder to hold tightly to the hope I affirm was especially helpful as I asked myself whether or not I had affirmed for that counselee the hope that we both hold. Though I did not yet know how we would specifically deal with her issues, I know that I had indeed affirmed that hope for her. I never wavered from the truth as I spoke with her, even though her response to it was not what I wanted it to be. The important thing is that I never wavered from the truth in my counsel to her, regardless of her response.

Here’s what I've learned from this: No matter what we are facing, if we hold fast to the Truth that we know, and respond accordingly, there is no problem that is insurmountable, and no valid reason to despair! Why? Because God can be trusted to keep His promise! The Bible affirms this on every page. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8); and the same holds true for His promises. All of God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20)! Why should we waver? He has promised to walk with us through whatever trial we may encounter (Deut. 31:6), so we can take great courage in Him. As we read the accounts of Daniel, Joshua, Gideon, Joseph and Israel in the Old Testament, we see the pattern of His faithfulness. As we read the letters of Paul and Peter, and study the life of Christ in the Gospels, we see that He can be trusted.

Friend, what are you fearing today? By what in this world are you overwhelmed? Rest assured, God is not surprised by it. Do you have a guilty conscience because of a sinful response to that circumstance? There is a new and living way that has been opened for you by the blood of Jesus Christ. He stands ready to forgive (1 John 1:9), strengthen (Is. 41:10) and encourage you (2 Cor. 3:12). Hold fast to the hope you affirm, and walk in obedience to His commands. He CAN be trusted!