Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence
“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:32-36)
Think about all that’s being said here: “call to remembrance [think back and remember] the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated [that is, after God’s light shone into your heart, and you got saved], ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” Then he describes it to them—how they themselves suffered, and identified with others who were suffering, and they “took joyfully the spoiling of [their] goods”; which is to say, they were walking close to the Lord and getting His blessing, even in affliction and loss. Even when people did bad things to them, they were able to “count it all joy.” (James 1:2)
Why was it so? Because they knew that they had “in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” Knowing. Having confidence. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” It’s possible to cast it away. It’s possible—as the temptations come, as discouragements come—to yield. To buckle and run, so to speak.
I’m reminded of the story of the exploring expedition down the Colorado River led by Major Powell, back in 1869. He was a man with a great deal of determination. He had lost an arm, so here he was going down through the rapids of the Colorado in these old wooden boats with just one arm, and a group of people with him, and the canyon turned out a lot longer than they expected. They would go through severe rapids and come out of them, and the canyon walls were still up there, steep and high; the next day they would run through another series of dreadful rapids, and barely make it through. Sometimes, they’d even have a boat turn over.
They survived through it all, but it was pretty hard going. A number of them were geologists, and they’d notice the rock formations, and I guess they could tell by the types of rocks when they were going to head into more severe rapids. So not only did they have all these difficulties they had gone through so far, they were beginning to be able to predict that they had more to come. The men were getting pretty discouraged, and Major Powell would tell them, “Hang on, we’ll make it through, we’ve got to explore this canyon. That’s what we set out to do.” They went farther, they made it through more rapids, it was starting to look more promising, and then those kind of rocks again.
Finally, three of the men decided, “We can’t take it any longer; we’ll die in this canyon. You can be fools, and stay here, but we’re climbing out while we still have strength.” Major Powell said, “No, you shouldn’t do that,” but they left. The others stayed with him, and they watched these men as they went up the canyon until they disappeared, and they went on. The next day, they came out of the canyon. The trial was over.
As it turned out, those three men who climbed out encountered hostile Indians and were killed. They cast away their confidence. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
Well, what is the will of God in your trial? For you to get the victory. For you to keep drawing near to Him until it’s over, for you to find by seeking the Lord, if there is any more good to get out that you haven’t gotten yet, anything He’s wanting to show you. The battle to keep confidence is a battle to do the will of God until we receive the promise.