Encouragement from Hebrews

Encouragement from Hebrews

Tracy L. Smoak is my guest blogger today. She has a great post on the Encouragement from Hebrews! Tracy is a Bible study writer and a photographer–both of which we have in common. I hope you enjoy her post on one of my favorite books of the Bible.

Finding Encouragement from Hebrews

A recent visit to the ocean reminded me of God’s glory. Standing on the shore before dawn, I watched the sunrise in all its grandeur of reds, golds, pinks, and oranges.

There’s something about that pageant that inspires awe.

I see Jesus rising to His throne with the crowning of each day as light blazes into what used to be dark.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory.

Hebrews 1:3, NIV

Life has trials that can discourage us. Things haven’t turned out like we thought. We strain to see beyond hardship and sorrow to find hope.

Since the heavens are works of Jesus’ hands (Hebrews 1:10), we have the assurance of His power and might. Jesus not only creates beauty with a spoken word, but He carries us when we can’t walk.

Because Jesus suffered temptation, He is able to help those of us being tempted to despair, give up, or give way to bitterness when disappointments damage our dreams.

Hebrews 2:18

Focus on God Through Adversity

In the middle of a storm, the only true refuge is in Jesus’ arms. When my marriage failed, when my son turned away for five years, when my health gave out, and when I lost my job, the only place of safety was in the certainty of Jesus’ love.

When adversity upends our expectations, we have a choice: Trust God to redeem the agony or deny He is able to rescue us. The writer of Hebrews, no stranger to persecution or pain, cautions believers: “Don’t let hardship and trials harden your heart and make you turn away from God” (Hebrews 3:13-15).

Though Jesus was the Son, He learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8-9). With time, we too can see how nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Jesus lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. He lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Like Jesus, let us say, “Here I am–I have come to do Your will, my God” (Hebrews 10:24).

Faith in Adversity

When we step forward in faith, trusting God will lead us to better places we can endure. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promises is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

By sharing our stories, we can help each other find the strength needed for today. “Let us spur each other on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

If we remain resolute and don’t throw away our confidence, God will richly reward us (Hebrews 10:35). Think here of the joy Lazarus’ family experienced seeing him arise. Did lepers’ skin tingle as the flesh became new? What must it be like to see colors after the dark of blindness?

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Hebrews 11:1-2

Be confident that God sees you today and will move heaven and earth to demonstrate His love.

A native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak’s passion, is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak contributes to Guideposts. Her debut novel is Who Brought the Dog to Church?, and her Bible study is Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place. She loves photography and authored two hardcover devotionals with original nature art (Redemption Press: Living Water to Refresh Your Soul and Arranged with Love). Smoak holds a master’s in Education and a bachelor’s in Communication. Her website is www.tracysmoak.com. Devotions with her photography set to music are available: http://www.youtube.com/@tracysmoak/playlists.

You can get Stephanie’s study on the Book of Hebrews here.