Cast not away your “confidence” — “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, openly, frankly, without concealment, without ambiguity or circumlocution, without the use of figures and comparisons.” “… which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb 10:35-36
Straight from the shoulder, without beating around the bush, with no holds barred, candidly, freely, cast not away your confidence, for it has great recompense of reward. Clarke writes “Having so great a fight of sufferings to pass through, and they of so long continuance, God furnishes the grace; you must exercise it.”
What is the promise to be received? Elevation. Humility, of the sort which suffers above, receives elevation or honor; those clothed in humility get grace. Those who run the race with patience, have laid aside encumbrances and sins. The weights have competed with some to overtake them again and again. These individuals have fought them off, sometimes struggled back from underneath them to regain their lead in the race.
In addition, He despised the shame. Friends, He exercised His mind downward toward the shame, He disesteemed it. What does it mean? He gave it no place of importance, no weight, no worship. It was not a high priority for Him to submit or bow down to what shame is. He disabled its power which could buffet Him to make Him quit; He ignored the potential of “disgrace” to manipulate His life.
Bad shame, the emotion of inferiority, expresses itself in “an inner torment, a sickness of the soul,” it divides us from self, others and God.” Don’t ever let it, saints. See, our battle is with our baggage-of-soul and if we can’t fend off the shame feeling, the race; our race of faith, gets sidetracked. Paul to Timothy wrote, “hold faith and a good conscience,” Or else shipwrecked faith will occur. “Holding the mystery of faith in a pure heart.”
So, shame can silence the voice of God in us; it is a faith-confidence destroyer. However, the anger of shame, the resentment of being shamed, the fear of disgrace, and the hatred of being humiliated are overcome by Jesus cross. Then, when we also take up our cross in identification with His cross, we are removed from the care of it all. Like, who cares? Shame me and hate me, it will not come nigh me, nor affect me! It will not be internalized.
Can we imagine the freedom of a life that frets not about being shamed by men? Some might say, “Where is your dignity, man?” Our dignity is in God’s charge to uphold, and it is intact this day because of Christ. So, If jail was in the cards for Paul and Silas, where’s the self-respect? Sing, sing, Paul and Silas, raise your voice and don’t let your feelings of guilt shut you up. You are the beloved of God, so if you must lose your life to find it, so be it.
Beloved, do not fear failure, we must not fear exposure, we cannot fear the need to ask for help, we cannot fear being disrespected by men or circumstances. These can all take us out of the race which we have already won in Christ. See, we have a guaranteed victory, it’s done, will you forsake the more important triumph for the lesser saving of face?
In closing, I am aware of the gravity of such exhortations as these. However, the camaraderie of the saints is that we would suffer these things together. Perhaps sin besets us. Friend, just get back up; confess your sin and just rebound. You are still in the running. Let our prayers be enough.
Finally, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet, if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” 1 Peter 4:13-16
Let us rejoice this Christmas, happy are we, the name of Christ is proclaimed! Mary did you know that your baby boy, would one day walk on water? Unto us this child is born, the child in a manger; unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders. And He shall reign forever and ever.