So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

During New Testament times the most cherished and protected item of a soldier’s armor was his shield. Those who lost their shield, and survived, were humiliated and at times killed by their own men. In fact, it was nobler to be carried home dead on your shield than to return home healthy and minus the shield. The shield was more important than life itself!

The word picture that the writer to the Hebrews gives us of confidence is likened to the shield of battle. The faith we have in God should be the most important thing we possess. Our faith in Jesus should be so important that we are willing to set aside our own personal reputation and safety to protect it. Jesus was humiliated, rejected by family and friends, wrongfully accused and eventually murdered by the very people He came to save. In spite of all that pain, He believes in you!

To many people their faith is an add-on to life. Faith is fine to have when times are tough, but when times are good it’s not necessary. To some it’s even confining. When faith is nothing more than an add-on and adversity comes we’re faced with a dilemma. We blame ourselves and try harder to ‘be good’ but this leads to frustration because we aren’t perfect no matter how hard we try.

We blame others and become angry and bitter, but that really only leads to our own emotional prison. Anger and bitterness robs our joy and our strength and keeps us from experiencing the joy and freedom only Jesus can give.

We blame God when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want or ask. But God isn’t a vending machine. His promises aren’t for an easy life here on earth. Jesus warns us repeatedly that we will be faced with tribulation and pain throughout our lives.

When you encounter battles and trials in life, learn a lesson from the admonition of Hebrews. Don’t throw away your faith! It doesn’t matter who is at fault in the trials you are enduring. If it’s your past you can be forgiven. If you’ve suffered evil at the hands of others God can help you recover from the wounds. But if you lose your faith in God, then you are truly without hope. Faith in God through Jesus Christ is the only way we can endure the attacks that others put in our way.

Persevere. Be strong. Guard your heart from the enemy. Never grow tired in your quest to follow Christ. Trust Jesus to empower you through His Holy Spirit to work in your life for good. Regardless of how things look around you Jesus is in control and madly in love with you!

PRAYER: Father God, I praise You for the protection and strength You have promised through Jesus Christ. I confess to you that I’m struggling with the things that are going on around me. There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed by enemy attack. Help me to hold fast to the confidence I have that You are an all-powerful, loving God. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit to live a life of faith in the midst of struggle. Amen.