Has COVID altered your perspective on life? As Christians, our perspective is to be based on God and His Word. We are warned not to let anything change our perspective and capture our hearts. In the letter to the Hebrews, there’s a precious verse that is often quoted. However, in most cases, it’s only the last part of the verse that is quoted, when Jesus said:
“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
That’s certainly a precious promise from Jesus. While people on this earth might leave or forsake us, Jesus promises that He never will. His love is faithful and secure. In that, we find rest and hope.
Whether alone in a hospital room or alone in your own living room, as Christians, we are never really alone. Jesus is always with us.
Hope for 2021
While Jesus’ promise is most precious, the full verse has great wisdom for us. It begins by saying:
Let your conversation [your conduct in life] be without covetousness [greed]; and be content [satisfied] with such things as you have…
To paraphrase, the writer is saying: Keep your lives free from the love of money and the desire for more worldly things. Be content with what you already have. Why? Because worldly things will never satisfy.
How can we be content with what we already have? We can be content by remembering that what we already have is Jesus! And He will never leave or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 really speaks to the challenges of 2020 and sheds a beacon of hope for 2021.
Our satisfaction is not to be found in this world, for all things that are of this world are perishing. The losses of 2020 should be of no surprise to anyone. Worldly things will always pass away. Only God’s gift of life in Jesus is eternal. Real satisfaction comes from a relationship with Jesus.
Our hope is not to be anchored in this world. Our hope is to be anchored in Jesus, the One who will never leave or forsake us, the One who is our Anchor.
The Anchor of our Souls
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…
Jesus is our hope and our anchor. The joy of the Lord is our strength:
Psa 18:2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Neh 8:10 …for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
The joy of the Lord flows from a peace that is not of this world:
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
True joy and peace come from belonging to Jesus, knowing Jesus, living for Jesus, and trusting in His promised presence. He is with us always by the power of His indwelling Spirit.
Liberated from the World
In Christ, we can have confidence that whatever happens in this world cannot steal the promised gifts that Jesus has given us. In the upper room on the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus promised to give us His life, His words, His joy, His protection, His mission, His glory, and His love. As Jesus’ own, we have already received those precious gifts.
We are free in Jesus and we are liberated from the control of the world. Do we really believe that? Do we live with confidence knowing we are free in Jesus? When we do, we find the joy and peace of the Lord — in whatever circumstances or challenges we experience.
So How Should We Begin 2021?
The answer is: with confidence! Confidence in Jesus, knowing that He is always with us. Confident that we have His love, joy, and peace, and knowing that He has given us eternal life. Finally, begin the new year with confidence in God’s Word and His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, knowing that we have protection in this world—just as Jesus promised.
John 17:15 I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them [protect them] from the evil.
Jesus’ Mission is Our Mission
Hebrews 13:5 has told us to keep our lives free from worldly things and to be content with what we have. What we have is Jesus! We are His and He is ours. Belonging to Jesus, we have also been given His mission. It’s a mission of love and joy in serving Him. The next verse in Hebrews 13 tells that we are to speak boldly and not fear anything in this world:
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID or anything else] shall do unto me.
Now that’s a verse for 2020 (and for every year)! We have the Lord’s peace and His protection, therefore, we are able to boldly proclaim His name and that He is our help. The world has no real power over us.
The next verse in Hebrews 13 tells us that there are some who have authority over us:
Heb 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
This is referring to our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who have authority over us when they speak God’s word to us. It’s the Word of God that has the real authority and they are the messengers. The verse follows closely after the writer telling of the great faith of many Old Testament saints (Heb 11) who are for us a Great Cloud of Witnesses (Heb 12:1). We must always remember their lives and learn from their words and their works. (Check out our Words of Wisdom from the Cloud of Witnesses category for teaching and encouragement from those who have gone before us.)
Our Mission is to Serve
Equipped with God’s Word and the words and examples of those who have gone before us, we are to serve our Saviour. We are His ambassadors here on earth to share His light and His truth with a dark and dying world. From a long-departed, saint-of-old, C.T. Studd (1860-1931), let us remember: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” (Read the entire poem Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd)
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way [and in every day of 2021]. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thess 3:16)
There are seven things that Jesus has given us. On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus bequeathed seven gifts to us in His “Last Will and Testament.” Read about these precious gifts that you have already received and be encouraged and strengthened in the life, words, joy, protection, mission, glory, and love of Jesus. Enter into the upper room and take a seat at the Lord’s table. Hear Jesus’ final words in a new way — His promises to you, signed and sealed by His blood. A Room with a View of Eternity
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
Thank you to all who contributed in 2020. Your generosity is a blessing and encouragement to us. We did not meet expenses in 2020 and still need your help to continue our global outreach in 2021. Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, we hope you will support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and. . .
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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***
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