Last week I started a series in Hebrews 10 where we'll examine four different ways to live if the gospel is true. The first was a lifestyle of devotion; today is a lifestyle of ACTION.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
It’s natural for me to respond to situations based on what’s happening in my environment. If it’s 100°F, I’m going to wear light clothes and bring a bottle of water. If it’s 30°F and snowing, I’m going to bundle up and give myself extra time for the commute.
My responses to these physical environments are wisely appropriate, but many times, we apply the same logic to our relationship with the Lord and with others. Whether we know it or not, we respond to our situations, locations and relationships based on conditional environmental factors.
The author of Hebrews thinks differently: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” In other words, we live a lifestyle of faith and obedience, not because our environment encourages us to do so, but because Jesus is faithful and with us every step of the way.
In fact, your environment will rarely “encourage” you to live with faith and obedience. Your situations will be marked by suffering. Your locations will be stressful. Your relationships will be hurtful.
If you’re married, your spouse won’t always be loveable and romantic. If you only choose to honor God and love your spouse when they’re doing the same, you’re going to spend a lot of your marriage dishonoring God and withholding love from your spouse.
If you’re a parent, your child won’t always be respectful and obedient. If you only choose to honor God and cherish your child when they’re doing the same, you’re going to spend a lot of your parenting dishonoring God and lashing out against your child.
Your body won't be pain-free. Your schedule won't be predictable. You'll experience injustice. If you only choose to praise the Lord when you’re healthy, comfortable and enjoying life, you’re going to spend a lot of your existence grumbling and questioning God's love and goodness.
As a Christian, you’re called to live by faith and obedience – and you have the ability to live by faith and obedience – because Jesus is faithful and with you every step of the way. Regardless of your situations, locations and relationships, you can live righteously and without waver.
Paul David Tripp
- What are some other examples of responding wisely to your physical environment?
- Why might there be a different standard for your physical and spiritual environments?
- How does your environment "discourage" - or make difficult - a lifestyle of faith and obedience?
- Why are you able to respond with faith and obedience regardless of environment?
- If Jesus is with you every step of the way, how you can commune with Him in the midst of a difficult environment?