A Word of Encouragement
Life is filled with countless numbers of decisions that we must make. Many of those decisions don’t seem all that consequential. Others we know will greatly affect our lives. Reflecting on some of our past decisions, we can easily become discouraged, doubting the wisdom of some of those choices. This reflection becomes especially numbing when dealing with critique of others who are questioning the decisions we’ve made. Before long we might find ourselves wondering if we’ve really blown it this time. Should we begin to look for another job? Have we completely messed up our kids? Should we move to a different house?
At times like these, we need some assurance. The assurance that we have not made the wrong decision after all. Or at least the assurance that if we have made a bad choice, the wrong move, or a less-than-stellar decision, everything will be ok.
Wouldn’t it be nice if God himself were to speak these words of assurance to us? If he would just come to us and say, “I see what you did there. Don’t worry, everything will be just fine. You are on the right track. Stay the course. Hang on. Keep it up!” Perhaps we could deal with the doubts a little while longer if we just had some confirmation from God like this.
In the introduction to Hebrews, the author tells us that God, in these last days, “has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:2). And throughout Hebrews, we are being exhorted to believe that the message given through the Son of God is the most assuring word we could ever hear from God. You see, God certainly could speak an assuring word about the various decisions we’ve made, but all this would do is encourage us to keep our eyes on ourselves. So instead God comes with a better message and with better news. The word he has spoken by his Son is all about the Son, who he is and what he has done. In this way he aims to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, rather than on our own selves. He wants us to look at Christ and what he has done rather than on ourselves and what we have done.
Rather than coming to us to tell us that we are doing a good job, the word God speaks to us by his Son comes to us to say, “Hey look here. See what a great job I have done!” This is more assuring. It is more helpful encouragement regardless the consequences of our choices we may be facing.
Maybe you have failed. Perhaps you have made a very poor decision. Now what? Keep your eyes on Christ, the one who never failed and in whose wisdom we rest. He can convict you if you’ve sinned and grace you with repentance where needed.
And if your decisions turn out to be brilliant, the best decision one could have possibly made in a given situation, the exhortation is still the same: keep our eyes on Christ. He can prevent you from succumbing to pride and self-righteousness and keep you glorying in his achievement rather than in your own.