Hebrews 10:32-36 (ESV)
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
The writer here speaks of afflictions, sufferings and even reproach. Things that no one likes to endure, if we are honest. But they come nonetheless.
It also speaks of the saints that endured and have walked along others that are suffering as well, even those that are imprisoned. I personally like being free and I admit I like my days to go smoothly without trials. But again I know that I tend to like to keep things managed, under control; that is how I may think my plans will work out as I hope for. But God doesn’t see it that way. He has higher hopes.
We know that God sends trials to test our faith, to prove it real. [James 1:2-4]. But more than just trials this passage points us to what is really important, what matters. These believers reacted as their possessions were plundered in …joy.. How does that work, where does that response come from? It doesn’t seem natural, and that’s the point. The simple answer is they saw the sacrifice of Christ and the love of their Father as way more important than any earthly riches. They possessed Christ and they knew the abiding love of God. No one on earth could take that away, because it is not ‘of the earth’. Whether they were imprisoned or free, whether they had abundance or very little, they knew the true riches they had hold of.
Lord help us to remember how abundant and lavish your love is and how you have poured it upon us, in grace. There is nothing in this natural world that compares. May we always look to you, the Creator, the Giver, and not be focussed or satisfied with the creation or the gifts.
During these 40 days you willingly gave up something in the natural, how has this affected you in the spiritual realm?
What riches have you transferred from this world to the supernatural world?
What riches still have a hold on you?
Take a moment to reflect on the riches God has given you that can not be stolen, plundered, destroyed or pillaged. If possible list these riches out in a journal and thank the Lord for each of them.