TOPIC: Brave Your Storm
KEY VERSE: [Fix your] eyes on Jesus, . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:2–3
Our Daily Bread Today Devotional | 17 January 2022 INSIGHT:
Because of severe persecution (see Hebrews 10:32–39; 13:3), Jewish believers were pressured to abandon their faith in Jesus and revert to Judaism. Based on Hebrews 13:24, the unnamed writer of Hebrews probably wrote from Italy to discouraged believers, encouraging them to remain faithful by “fixing [their] eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:2). The author emphasized the superiority and sufficiency of Christ through His position as God Himself (chs. 1–4) and His once-for-all sacrifice for sin (chs. 5–10). In chapter 12, the writer used the imagery of a long-distance foot race where a stadium full of supporters cheer on the runners to complete it. The apostle Paul also used the foot-race metaphor to encourage believers to persevere by keeping their eyes on the finish line—to “[finish] the race” (2 Timothy 4:7; see 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; Philippians 3:12–14).
Our Daily Bread Today Devotional | 17 January 2022 MESSAGE:
It was the evening of April 3, 1968, and a fierce thunderstorm was lashing through Memphis, Tennessee. Weary and feeling ill, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hadn’t intended to give his planned speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at a church hall. But he was surprised by an urgent phone call saying a large crowd had braved the weather to hear him. So he went to the hall and spoke for forty minutes, delivering what some say was his greatest speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
The next day, King was killed by an assassin’s bullet, but his speech still inspires oppressed people with the hope of “the promised land.” Likewise, early followers of Jesus were uplifted by a stirring message. The book of Hebrews, written to encourage Jewish believers facing threats for their faith in Christ, offers firm spiritual encouragement to not lose hope. As it urges, “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (12:12). As Jews, they would recognize that appeal as originally coming from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 35:3).
But now, as Christ’s disciples, we’re called to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2). When we do so, we “will not grow weary and lose heart” (v. 3).
Certainly, squalls and storms await us in this life. But in Jesus, we outlast life’s tempests by standing in Him.
REFLECT & PRAY
How do you respond to life’s spiritual storms? As you look to Jesus and His promises, how does He encourage you?
Jesus, You calm every spiritual storm. When tempests rage, speak peace to my soul as I put my hope in You.
January 17, 2022 | Our Daily Bread Today Devotional | Monday ODB Devotional Message. Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODB) is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 600 employees. It produces several devotional publications, including Our Daily Bread.
Have you ever made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life?
If not, pray this prayer and start a new life in Christ.
Dear God, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. I admit that I am not right with You, and I want to be right with You. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. The Bible says if I confess with my mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved (Rom. 10:9). I believe with my heart and I confess with my mouth that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of my life. Thank You for saving me! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
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