Handling Adversity ~ DAY 89

We come to the benediction of the letter to the Hebrews.  It is a powerful prayer of blessing expressing the writer’s concern for the spiritual health and well-being of the recipients of this letter.  It is a good reminder to us as we face our seasons of adversity in life.  May we draw upon the truth contained and be encouraged.  “Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, equip you with every good thing to do His will, working in us what is pleasing before Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen”  (Hebrews 13:20-21).

First of all, we see a reference to the God of peace.  He alone is the author and giver of peace.  There can be no real peace apart from Him.  Oh, how we need God’s gift of peace during troubled times.  Peace is produced within us as we yield control to the Holy Spirit.  It is one of His fruit (Galatians 5:22).  The author points out to us the length to which God went in securing this peace for us.  It was the sacrificial death of God’s own Son.  And when we are at peace with God, we may experience the peace of God.  A peace that passes all understanding.  Please read Philippians 4:4-7.

The idea of this word “peace” is to join everything or bind everything together.  It conveys the common expression of one “having it all together.”  The only way for us to have it all together, especially during times of hardship and difficulty, is to bring everything to God and under God.  Let God be the umbrella that covers everything.  When we trust God that much and release everything to His sovereignty and authority, we can truly have peace.  So much of life is out of our control, but never outside of His control.

We are reminded in Hebrews 13:20 that God made a way to provide for our greatest need which was a Savior.  We cannot save ourselves.  Only God can deliver us from the penalty, power, and one day from the very presence of sin.  If we have trusted Jesus to save us, then we have had the confidence in God at some point in our lives to meet our greatest need.  Arguing then from the greater to the lesser, if God has met our greatest need, why do we not trust Him to provide for every other need? 

The author declares that Jesus is not just our Savior, He is our Shepherd.  And not just any old shepherd.  No!  He is the Great Shepherd!  Jesus loves us and cares for us like no other.  He will protect and provide for His flock.  Please read Psalm 23.  Even when we must walk through the darkest of valleys, we need not be afraid.  He is with us!  He is reassuring us!  Let’s follow our Great Shepherd today.  “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”  (John 10:27).