This morning I’m thinking about what I can do to keep myself from falling back into depression, anxiety and fear. I came across a passage: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb 10:19-23)
We are to have bold confidence to enter the throne room of God at any time. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16) This is our 911 call, and He guarantees He will answer the phone, but He requires us to make the move.
He also requires that we approach the throne room humbly: “with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water”. Under the new covenant, Christians can truly experience a release of guilt. And, in order to live the life to which we are called, we should set aside feelings of guilt, since all of our sins are truly forgiven.
Much of the letter to Hebrews to this point, has been explaining reasons to be confident that Jesus Christ, not the old covenant priesthood, is God’s ultimate plan for mankind’s salvation. Part of the encouragement to “hold fast” given here comes from that perspective: “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb 3:14).
Christ is the fulfillment of God’s will for mankind, so we should resist the pressures of anything which tries to take us away from Him. Instead we are to hold tightly to our hope, not because of who we are, but because Jesus is Lord, Faithful and True. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb 10:23)
This statement comes in the context of several warnings, cautioning the reader about the dangers of being careless, shallow, or dismissive of their Christian faith (Heb 2:1–4; 6:1–8). An example is given regarding Israel’s failure in the desert, at the borders of the Promised Land (Heb 3:12-19), where Israel succumbed to fear and doubt, and did not “hold fast” to their trusting faith in God. Christians are called not to make this mistake.
Instead, I must embrace the confidence I have in Christ, and His salvation, and act accordingly. The Lord put it on my heart that the only way to embrace the confidence and hope we have in Christ, is to stay close in studying His Word and in prayer. I must seek the Lord first (Matt 6:33), give my anxiety over to Him, and ask Him for His rest (Matt 11:28), while expecting to receive what He promised because He is faithful.
Thank You, Lord, for putting Your Word on my heart today as I sought Your guidance to keep me from falling again into the devil’s trap. Lord, when you see that I’m leaning back in that direction, I ask for Your rod and Your staff to comfort me, and bring me back to the fold so that I don’t wander off. Lord, You are the Good Shepherd, and I know that I can trust where You lead. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.