Keeping the Faith When Everything is Going Wrong
This One Scriptural Truth Will Keep You Going
Jesus said He came so that we would have life and have it abundantly, or to the full. (John 10:10) He said we could experience God as our Father. We could experience the divine love, joy, peace of Jesus Himself. (Galatians 5:22–23, John 14:33, John 15:11).
God said through Peter that we could experience “the divine nature” through knowing God and receiving God’s promises. (2 Peter 1:3–4) There are hundreds of life-giving, God-given promises that are available to us through faith in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Paul wrote, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ…” (Ephesians 3:8)
Paul saw a major part of his calling was to preach and teach the unfathomable, unsearchable riches given to us when we receive Jesus.
These are but a few of the thousands of Scriptures revealing to us how God’s will is to bless us, love us, fill us, make us fruitful, and multiply us. Out of His abundance, God created us first of all to bless us and love us…out of those freely given riches to then work with us in sharing those riches with others in purposeful work and ministry.
It’s amazing and wonderful to know Jesus! And Sometimes Really Hard.
But the Bible also says in this world we will have tribulation. All Jesus followers will go through tough times, sometimes really tough. Jesus said His yoke is light and His burden is easy, but this fallen world with Satan’s influence produces regular times of faith challenges and hardships.
Unfortunately, when these hardships, injustices, sicknesses, failures, or persecutions come, some fall away. That was the temptation for the believers in the Book of Hebrews and in that book God gives us some keys to withstanding the temptation to give up and fall away from Jesus, especially when things get tough.
Their Key to Incredible Responses During Unfair Hardships
First, let’s take a look at what these dear brethren went through when they received God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus.
“But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you suffered a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property…” (Hebrews 10:32–34b)
Wow, these dear saints were going through things I’ve not yet experienced and were living as more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) Going in reverse order:
- They accepted JOYFULLY the seizure of their property
- Showed sympathy and helped those who were prisoners for their faith (they didn’t disassociate from them, but showed sympathy and helped them)
- They were made public spectacles through reproaches and tribulations
- They suffered great conflict of sufferings immediately after “being enlightened”.
Pretty impressive. Especially the fact that they were still being joyful when the places they owned and loved, probably had generations of family memories, traditions, and the security of “home” were seized and taken from them. They were still joyful. That is really impressive.
The Essential Power of the Right Knowledge
How could they respond that way? The second part of Hebrews 10:34 tells us, ‘and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, KNOWING that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.”
This is one of the biggest keys to enduring, to overcoming, and staying in the faith: one Jesus personally taught.
Knowing, believing deeply that we do have ETERNAL LIFE, we have “for ourselves a BETTER POSSESSION and a LASTING ONE.’ The guarantee of heaven is real, better, and eternal: It is worth any hardship.
Shortly before He went to the cross, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, resurrection, and His departure from earth, from being with them.
“Do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1–3)
The Hebrew believers had joy in hardship by “Knowing”
They had a better possession and lasting one. Jesus was preparing His closest friends and followers for His departure by giving them the right knowledge, specifically that in the Father’s house are many dwelling places. There is room for all of us in the Father’s house.
That He was going to prepare a place for them (and us), and that at the right time He will return, He will receive us to Himself and we’ll get to be with Jesus forever and ever in the fulness of eternal life!
Knowing this, believing it is essential, it is foundational for not throwing our faith or confidence away, when facing severe hardship for following Jesus. That “we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:36, 39)
Not Blind Faith, Faith based on Knowledge of God’s Words and Promises
It is a matter of faith in God and His words, His promises. That faith is based on truth, the knowledge God gives us again and again in the Bible. That’s why the next chapter, Hebrews 11, is devoted entirely to the various aspects of God-pleasing faith.
We don’t have time to go into the various ways to develop strong faith here; but one of the biggest keys to not throwing our faith away when things are hard is KNOWING and then, based on that knowledge, BELIEVING in the reality of eternal life and heaven.
God blesses us in thousands of other ways IN THIS LIFE. That is no exaggeration. God blesses us over and over and over again. His Word is saturated with incredible promises, which are God’s in writing, will for us.
But even if He didn’t give us all those real and amazing riches. When we know that this life is just a vapor that is gone in no time, compared to eternity. That if we keep believing in Jesus we will live forever and ever with God in heaven we have the right foundation to keep going.
It is so easy, so “natural” to focus on the things we can see, touch, smell, hear, and touch. We all have things we value and enjoy. But God calls us to keep those things in their proper place. They will all eventually end up in the trash heap, we will not take them to heaven with us.
A big part of our victory is learning to see and value things the way God does.
How wonderful is that? As we internalize Scripture, we are learning to see life more and more the way it really is, according to God’s thoughts, His values; true reality.
When the fear of death is defeated, which it is in Jesus (Hebrews 2), and when we know that when we leave these bodies we are GUARANTEED eternal life with Jesus, it gives us strength, endurance, and even joy when facing real hardship for our faith.
Learning to focus on, in a sense, to “see” the unseen through Scripture is one of the most important steps you can take that will empower you to keep believing and stay true to Him even when everything is going wrong.
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a GREAT REWARD. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:35–36
Heaven, eternal life in God’s presence is real. It is guaranteed for every single person who trusts Jesus alone for salvation. Knowing it and believing it will empower you to keep going, with joy, even in the most challenging times and circumstances.
Why not take a moment or two and prayerfully think about the guaranteed reality of heaven, eternal life with our beyond imagination love and light God? Let that reality go deeper in your soul and your faith will grow deeper and stronger.
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