The Summer Olympics have come to an end for another four years, and just in time for some of us, who kept staying up late just to see another event. The competition of the Olympics has always been fascinating to me and I really enjoy watching the athletes compete. It is also interesting to listen to the stories behind the journey many of them have made to get to the level they are at in their sport. Of particular interest are those who have overcome great difficulties, or who have persevered through many disappointments to get to the ultimate competitive stage. These individuals, who seem so confident and accomplished in what they are doing, are full of life examples which inspire others to choose to make the sacrifices and fulfill their own Olympic dream. It was also encouraging to hear many of the U.S. athletes share their testimony of their faith in Jesus.
In Hebrews 10 the writer of Hebrews was seeking to inspire early Jewish Christians regarding their faith in Christ. In this chapter he explains how the law was only a shadow of the covenant which was fulfilled in Christ and how the new covenant was far superior. Then he goes on to explain to them the benefits of this new covenant by quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34, “I will put laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds. Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” His conclusion was a call for them to persevere in their faith. The sacrifice of Jesus opened the “curtain” and gave them access to the “Most Holy Place” where they could experience the presence of God with confidence. Gone were the days where the fear of past sins or failures would prevent them from being victorious in their walk with God. Because of this new covenant they could talk with God personally, express their joys and their fears, and also tell Him of their thankfulness for His love for them.
Not unlike the Olympic athletes driven by the memory of all the training, sweat and tears it takes to compete at such a high level, we are encouraged to be motivated in our Christian walk by the path we have taken to be in the position we are in through Christ. In Hebrews 10:32-35 it says, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
As we begin a new week of a new school year, we can be encouraged and confident in knowing God’s power and love are unchanging in meeting whatever challenges come our way. Each time we face a situation we can be assured that God is the same no matter what the new problem might be and we can use the memory of a past victory to receive His blessing and our continued growth in confidence that He is dependable.
My prayer for all of us is that we choose to endure with grace. Have a victorious week.