Recently, in KAOG Office, Bro Roland shared that we are to be the salt and light of this world. We are to bring love, hope and joy to the needy in our community by our acts of concern.
Last week, Ps Soo also shared that we are commissioned by God to make disciples for Him, so we need to intentionally share the good news to people around us.
Every Thursday morning, I will go to the Alam Jaya market to chit chat and ‘yum cha’ with the people there. I would share about Jesus or my personal testimony to whoever would listen. However, some of them would laugh at me, saying that I am too religious. Some of them would say, all religions are the same. Some would even tease me that I had become a self made doctor as I would usually pray for those that are sick and need healing. Some might accept my invitation to church because I provide refreshments after service, or some might come just to please me. There was once a lady who accepted Christ but she was persecuted by her husband at home. Her husband threatened her with divorce if she continue to come to church. I was even blamed for sharing Christ with her.
How do I feel after all these happened? Well, I felt sorry and sad for those rejecting Jesus. It is because they do not know who is their true God and their ultimate goal. I did not feel angry with them because they do not have the truth. I was not influenced and angered by the negative words. I am still fervent for the Lord and joyful always, as the Word of God is the one that encourage and strengthen me. The Holy Spirit always stir me up and revive me.
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive [a]what was promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 (NASB)
The author of Hebrews was writing to a group of Christians who were under intense persecution. Some of them were contemplating to return to Judaism. The author admonished them not to turn away from their hope of salvation. If we want to overcome our challenges, Hebrews tells us:
- Verse 35 – Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. Reasons for losing our confidence is because of i) Despair ii) Tiredness iii) Fear
Sometimes, we think we have given up some things, having let go of certain things. However, we haven’t obtained that which we had let go for, and we might begin to feel like why haven’t I receive that which I was striving for by now. We become discouraged, tired and frightened and ultimately, we give up and quit.
But in Job 23:10: But he knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
We need to understand that this is the place that God is developing our character. It is the place where maturation happens. It is the place where faith becomes stronger and it is the place where we are being prepared for our destiny God has for us. However, it is also the place where there will be temptations. It can also be the place of doubt which is trying to defeat us. So, in all these, God’s Word says, do not throw away your confidence.
2. Verse 36: You need to persevere (patience) so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what has been promised.
The meaning of persevere means persisting in doing something despite the difficulty or delay in achieving success. Patience means waiting without complaints. So we pray while we are waiting and believe in God’s promises.
In my church, there was a brother who stopped coming to church for a few months. I visited him, encouraged him and do all that I can, but he gave me the reason that he was tired after work and needed to sleep. However, I later found out that it was because he goes drinking wine after work until drunk and that was why he couldn’t come to church. I did not confront him but instead I prayed to God that ever sip of the wine he took would turn sour so that he would not drink it anymore. I believed God loves him so much that He wants him to be healthy. After two months of interceding, suddenly he returned to church. I praise God for hearing my child like prayers and brought this brother back to church.
God knows our weaknesses and He even reminded Joshua 3 times to be strong and courageous in Joshua 1:6-9
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; [a]be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [b]have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may [c]be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will [d]have success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let us continue to persevere without losing our confidence in our ministry, knowing at the end of the day, God’s promises is Yes and Amen.
Devotional by Ps Jane Ooi