Ever feel like you don't belong? Feel like having faith is sometimes just too hard? I have been tempted to give up on faith, and in fact, I had drifted away from God when a study on Hebrews started at my church this fall.
I made excuses. I said I was tired of filling in the blanks on workbooks. I said I was behind in my personal Bible reading. I said I didn't want one more commitment, one more semester of homework that seemed like school. But the first lesson, the first verse of Hebrews 2 called me back. Like a boat that had pulled out into the current, I suddenly felt the tug of the rope back to my anchor.
"Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it."
And that's when my study began to be more than filling in spaces on a worksheet. It became personal. Jesus was at the center of this book written to the Hebrew Christians about Old Testament history, and the call to hold fast and persevere while under pressure was unmistakable.
How will you remain encouraged when all hope seems dim? How will you keep believing when God doesn't answer your prayers for years?
Remember you are a stranger in this world. There is something better coming. We get glimpses of heaven here. When your spirit gasps in awe at beauty, love, exquisite detail, and delight, for that split second, remember the power of God which overcame death in Jesus. He swallowed up death forever and will wipe every tear when we reach our rest. We wait for him, and he is our very great reward.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.