Here are two verse from my recent reading that I found challenging.
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 10:35-36These words come towards the end of the writers exploration of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. They are powerful words, full of challenge. Withe everything we have been through in the last couple of years, it would be so easy to throw in the towel and give up. Battered and bruised, tired and exhausted, I could so easily have walked away from church altogether. ButI knew that there was more going on than I could see or understand. Faith is not always east to exercise.
Since moving to Ockendon we have been pretty busy with the house, but we made the effort (and it was quite an effort) to go to church. We've been loosely connecting ourselves with a church that seems to share out mindset about missional community, and we made it to their celebration in June. Hearing stories of other slightly crazy people and the ways they are trying to connect with communities was so positive that we were actually very sad that we couldn't make the July meeting because of a preaching commitment we had. Imagine that, missing church!
These verses from Hebrews were a timely reminder that my confidence is not in a system, a denomination or my own abilities, gifts and skills. That kind of confidence is unlikely to be rewarded and not what I think the writer of Hebrews is pointing towards. Their confidence is rooted in the cross and the finished work of Christ. It's confidence in that that drives, no calls me to faithfulness and adventure as I seek to obey God's will for my life.