"Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward."
In the US, we are proud of our achievements. We recognize hard work, accomplishments, and personal endeavors. In fact, as children, we're often told that if we put our mind to something, we can accomplish anything. You might even say this is one of the bedrocks on which our country was founded.
In the 10th chapter of Hebrews, however, the author encourages the believers to persevere and endure, despite the numerous hardships they're experiencing. How? Not due to their own accomplishments and achievements... but because of their CONFIDENCE! Their confidence in Christ Jesus and the hope that comes from a life lived with him.
Christians in the US know about this hope, and it is encouraging to us as we go through trials and tribulations. But here in the Philippines (as I'm on a 1-week Compassion International trip), I've seen first-hand the hope and confidence that causes these people in poverty-stricken Davao to have great faith! From the rickety old shack of the Daborbors, where mother Josephine rejoiced in her "blessings"... to the incredible testimony of LDP alumni Raphonzel, whose whole family came to know the Lord through her experience of Compassion - a truth she holds firmly in her heart... a confidence in grace that can never be taken away... to the joy in the hearts of the many Compassion Center staff, who continue to make a difference in the lives of children day after day, because they know the hope and confidence that comes from knowing Jesus!
Wes Stafford, in his book Too Small To Ignore, remarks that HOPE is one of the greatest weapons in the fight against the downward spiral of poverty. Give a child a sense of hope and confidence that they are indeed loved, valued and important... and you can change the world!
"Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward." Maybe this is a message for me today?!? A reminder from the faithful saints of Davao. AMEN.