What do you do when you don't recognize the world you live in or the people in it? It's jarring when the places and the people we spend our lives with turn out to nothing like the way they were represented. Perhaps a place that once felt safe or comforting is now a place of harm or misery. Sometimes people misrepresent themselves or they change altogether. People often say their world has fallen apart because something is not the way it once was - a job, a school, a marriage or friendship.
The problem with all of this is not who or what changed. The problem is misplaced faith. The Book of Hebrews was written to a people needing faith explained and encouragement in keeping their faith. The new Jewish beleivers in the days of the early church were facing a world and people they did not recognize. Christ had come and brought about a revolution. These new believers were now faced with leaving the religious constructs they lived and died by and while the teachings of Christ were nothing but peace and freedom, they faced murder and persecution.
This encouragement from Hebrews 13:5-8 meant much to the Jewish believers and its meaning is pertinent to us today:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our faith needs to be focused on who and what does not change. Everything here will change. People, places, economy, health, leaders, it goes on and on. When our faith is placed in people we will be let down and disappointed every single time. The blows will be big when we sell out completely to someone or something. And we will wonder how could someone hurt us so badly - they hurt and we hurt because the world and its citizens are broken. That's it and there's no way around it.
But Christ, whose body was broken for us and whose blood spilled for all of mankind promises that He will never leave or forsake us. The son of God has been with His father from the creation of the world is not surprised by anything and has experienced every bit of betrayal, pain and hurt we could ever endure. And when our world is rocked we need to remember our God is not surprised, He will hold on to us and not let go.
Some days I feel like I've seen and heard it all. And other days my jaw is on the floor in disbelief. Right there, smack in the middle of cynicism and disbelief sits the throne. He waits to intercede for us, His Spirit seeks to bring comfort and the Father wishes for all to be near and forgiven.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord that you are our Mighty Fortress. Our Strong Tower. That you are the great I AM - that you do not change. In a world where people fail us, You do not. Thank you for you Son who came to love the world and not to condemn it. Thank you that He died, was buried and rose again to conquer death. We ask for growing and increased faith in You and You alone. Amen