Week of June 23

Don't Throw Away Your Confidence! 

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
- Hebrews 10:35

Have you ever gotten so exhausted from waiting for God's promise to come to pass that you were tempted to say, "Forget it! I've waited long enough! I'm not going to sit here and wait any longer. I've given enough of my life to this, and I'm tired of it. I'm going to toss the whole thing away and move on with my life!"

If this is a temptation for you, then you need to read Hebrews 10:35 - God's strong warning that urges us to never quit and to never give up. This verse says, "Cast not away therefore your con­fidence, which hath great recompence of reward."

The words "cast not away" are taken from the Greek word apoballo, which is a compound of the words apo and ballo. The word apo means away, and the word ballo means to throw something, such as a ball, rock, or some other object. When these two words are compounded together, it means to throw away; to discard; or to get rid of something no longer desired, needed, or wanted.

A vivid example of the word apoballo is used in Mark 10:50. Jesus had just finished His min­istry in the city of Jericho, and He and His disciples were about to leave the city, along with a great number of people who were following Him. As Jesus passed down the road, he walked right past a blind man named Bartimaeus.

Mark 10:47,48 says, "And when he [Bartimaeus] heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus was so struck by Bartimaeus' insistence that Mark 10:49 tells us, "And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.…"

The word apoballo is found in the next verse. It says, "And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus" (Mark 10:50). The words "casting away" are from the word apoballo. It means that Bartimaeus didn't simply take off his garment and lay it aside; rather, he quickly jerked it off his body and hurled it down to the ground. He tore himself free of that garment!

You see, Bartimaeus' garment was so tightly wrapped about his body that it restricted him from getting to Jesus. To free himself, he took hold of that garment and threw it out of the way. He dis­carded it. It was a nuisance that was hindering his mobility, so he pitched it out of the way. That gar­ment constricted his movement and stopped him from going where he wanted to be, so he grabbed hold of it and cast it away.

Blind Bartimaeus wanted to quickly get up and get to Jesus, but he was so annoyed, aggra­vated, and exasperated by the garment that was hindering his movement that he removed it and got it free from his legs so he could move. The Greek word apoballo describes this removal process in Mark 10:50.

Why is this example of blind Bartimaeus so important? Because the verse we started with today was written to believers who had suffered much for their faith. They endured hardships but still remained faithful to the call of God and to their firm belief in God's promises. But by the time the book of Hebrews was written and they read this verse for the first time, they had already been believing for God to turn their tragedies into victories for multiple years. It is quite possible that they began to wonder: 

  • Is God ever going to turn our mourning into rejoicing? 
  • Is He really going to turn our ashes into beauty? 
  • How much longer do we have to wait for the promises of God to come to pass? 
  • Did we misunderstand the promises of God? 
  • Are we waiting for something that is never going to happen? 

This is why Hebrews 10:35 warns these believers, "Cast not away therefore your confi­dence.…" Because the words "cast not away" are from the word apoballo, this verse suggests that they were so tired and frustrated with waiting for God's promise to come to pass that they were tempted to chuck "this whole faith thing" and forget the promises of God they had been holding on to for so many years. They were beginning to think that living by faith was what had restricted, bound, and kept them in the same place all those years.

The use of the word apoballo suggests that the Hebrew Christians were thinking, If we hadn't stood so firmly on the Word of God all these years, at least we could have done something else with our lives. Let's just forget the promise God gave us. We've held on long enough! Let's just toss it aside and forget about it. At least then we can begin to move on with our lives and do something different. Enough of this fantasy that God is going to do something miraculous for us! Let's chuck this promise that has held us back and move on with our lives!

Hebrews 10:35 is God's response to these kinds of lying thoughts, accusations, and doubts. God cries out to them to hold tight and to never let go of the promises He had made to each of them. And God is saying the same thing to us today!

The word "confidence" is the Greek word paressia. This word means boldness and depicts a very bold, frank, outspoken kind of language. It carries the meaning of being forthright, blunt, direct, and straight to the point. In this verse, it refers to the bold, brave, fearless declarations and faith confessions regarding God's promises that these believers had been making.

They had been professing, declaring, and laying claim to the promises of God's Word for their personal lives. They had done it boldly, audibly, and publicly. What they believed, they had declared loudly! However, now that the results weren't forthcoming and they were growing tired, they were feeling tempted to toss it all away and count it as nonsense. But this verse urged them to hold tight and to keep believing! And now you must hang on to God's promises just as these Hebrew Christians were told to do.

Hebrews 10:35 could be rendered to read:

"Don't discard, dispel, dismiss, dump, or cast off your bold declaration of faith, because it has great recompense of reward."

Today I am urging you - don't let the devil talk you into tossing away your faith. You've waited too long and have invested too much of your life into this promise for you to walk away from it now. If you walk away from what God promised you after waiting all these years, it will mean that all those years were for nothing!

The manifestation of your dreams is probably just around the corner. That is why the devil is working overtime right now to discourage you! He wants you to discard your faith now because he knows that if you hang on much longer, you'll see your dreams come true! So it's time for you hang tight, hold on, and keep believing, because it won't be much longer until you are standing in the middle of your dreams!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me hold on tightly to the promises You have given me in Your Word. When I get physically tired or spiritually weary, please refill me with Your Spirit and recharge me with Your power so I can keep believing until I finally see the manifestation of my prayers. I know that You are faithful and that Your Word never fails, so help me remain true until I see all Your promises come true in my own life. With the assistance of Your Spirit and Your power, I can and I WILL stand firm to the end.

I pray this in Jesus' name! 

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I have a faith that is unwavering! I stand firmly and solidly on the truths God has given me. The storms of life may come against me and the devil may try to move me, but I am not moving off of the promises in God's Word! Those promises belong to me, and I claim them right now by faith! I am strong, and I am filled with the Spirit's power! Hell moves out of the way for me, because I take my stand on God's Word and refuse to move!

I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER 

  1. Have you ever had the heartbreaking experience of seeing a believer toss away his faith after he had believed and waited for many years for something to come to pass? 
  2. After that believer walked away from his long-held stance of faith, did his life improve or deteriorate? 
  3. If that person you are thinking about is you, how has your life progressed since you let go of the promise God made to you? Have you regretted that you didn't stand firm a little longer? If so, why don't you go to the Lord and repent so you can "reapprehend" that word from God and start pursuing it again?  

You can find more from Rick Renner on LightSource.com, including broadcasts of 
"Good News with Rick Renner" and "Refuel with Rick"!