You're One of Those

  • Feb. 21, 2014
  • #8300

The book of Hebrews names “Heroes of the Faith” and if you have faith, you are a hero, too!

 

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a word from Hebrews chapter 10.

And it’s got to be one of the most invigorating verses in the New Testament. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 39 says, “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Love that verse! It has a special place in my heart. It became my motto when I was going through chemotherapy for stage III breast cancer several years ago. As awful as chemotherapy was, as terrifying as the diagnosis of the disease, as frightened as I was of the side effects, I was not about to be classed with those who shrink back. I was determined to be of those who believe and are saved. And I like that question…

Who are “those?” Hebrews chapter 10, verse 39 raises the question, “Who are those who believe and are saved?” The writer of Hebrews has some special people in mind. His answer follows in Hebrews chapter 11, that great honor roll of those who persevered: Moses, Noah, Sarah, Abraham, Rahab, Gideon, David and Samuel, to mention a few. Now I think it’s wonderful that you are one of “those.” Friend, you're linked with Moses and Enoch! Yes, even though these men and women had problems, they demonstrated great faith. Moses, although he erupted in anger, repented; Noah had a problem with alcohol, yet his faith didn’t shrivel up; Sarah mocked God, yet survived and was saved; Rahab with her loose morals and questionable reputation, Gideon with serious doubts, David with his uncontrolled passions, and Samuel with the aches and pains of old age. Ultimately, these people did not collapse; they did not shrink back and thus destroy their faith. Ultimately, they persevered, believed and were saved. They were counted as righteous because they hung on to God's promises. They lived by faith. And so must you and I.

Hebrews chapter 12 has great advice for us. In light of these remarkable saints of old – saints with clay feet yet courageous hearts – in light of their examples, it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Does that sound hard? It’s the question I had to ask myself back in chemotherapy. Was I going to let the side effects and the fearful prognosis hinder me? Was I going to let it trip up my faith? Even destroy it? No way. I decided I did not want to be one of those who would shrink back and be destroyed. I decided I wanted to be among those who believe and are saved. And Hebrews chapter 12, verses 2-3 tells us how to do just that, how to persevere, how to hang on. It tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Consider Him who endured such opposition so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

By the way, Hebrews 11 may be the honor roll of heroes of the faith who persevere, but I have a video that, to me, speaks to my heroes. It’s the special-needs families at our Family Retreats who hang in there and keep trusting God despite setbacks. This video is so sweet, it’s so much fun – it’s set in the context of super heroes at our Family Celebration Night, and I know, I just know you will really enjoy watching it and sharing it with your Facebook friends. So when we’re finished here, pop over to my radio page at joniandfriends.org and enjoy this special video. I think once you see it, you, too, will be encouraged to persevere through the tough times. Today, friend, don't give up. Don't shrink back. Others far weaker and far more fragile than you have hung in there and by the grace of God, so can you.

© Joni and Friends

 

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