Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.
In his book “I Was Wrong,” PTL founder Jim Bakker described his rise to power as an influential televangelist. He also recounted his fall, his time in prison, and his restoration. Bakker confessed that much of what he believed and taught about the prosperity gospel was wrong. But to me what stood out most about that book was how suddenly Bakker’s life changed. One day, he was flying on a Learjet influencing millions of people, and almost overnight, he was in a prison cell where his job was scrubbing the toilets. Life can change very quickly for any of us.
It is one thing to talk about how great our Christian faith is when everything is going well. But what about when the bottom falls out of your life? The authenticity of our faith is proven in times of suffering. We need to hold on to our faith in Jesus Christ not just in seasons of success but also in seasons of suffering, because Jesus is the perfect Savior for all seasons in our lives.
The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were going through a season of suffering. Because of their suffering, they were tempted go back to their old system of belief. You may be facing your own season of suffering right now. Maybe you are wondering about the goodness of God. Maybe you are tempted to let go of your faith and pursue something else. Before you do, this verse has a great command for you as well: “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1).
Notice the writer was talking to “holy brethren”–to those who profess Christ as Savior. If you are a believer, then you have a Heavenly calling. Never forget that your call to become a Christian did not start with you. You did not wake up one day and say, “I think I will become a Christian today.” No. Your salvation began in Heaven with God. In 2 Timothy 1:9, Paul said that God “has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” We not only have a calling from Heaven, but we also have a calling to Heaven. As difficult as your life might be right now, this world is not your home. What you are going through is real, it is painful, but it is also temporary. Heaven is our ultimate calling.
The word “therefore” in Hebrews 3:1 points back to what the writer said in the first two chapters. The book of Hebrews is about the superiority of Jesus Christ. The writer was saying, “Therefore, in light of all that I have said about Jesus, before you give up your faith, I want you to consider Jesus.” This word “consider” means “to think deeply about, to study closely.” When you are in a storm of suffering and thinking about giving up your faith, before you do that, study Jesus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “A Savior For All Seasons” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Jim Bakker, “I Was Wrong” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997).
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.