confidence of the heart

I will not be afraid, because the Lord is my helper. People can’t do anything to me. [Hebrews 13:6 NCV]

On the surface this statement sounds a bit absurd. People of faith are often mistreated. Saints of old were tortured and martyred for their faith. So the idea that people cannot hurt us seems to border on delusional positive thinking. Yet, perhaps the author is trying to convey a different truth?

Under threat of papal imprisonment and censure Martin Luther uttered these words:
"I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
In saying this Luther affirmed that there are things in life more important than external appearances or consequences. When he says it is neither right nor safe to go against conscience he affirms that there are things greater than what we can see. His words are filled with a confidence of the heart.

In truth there are things worse than what can be done to us. What we do to ourselves is far worse. It is worse to betray our conscience. In his epistle James teaches us that sin is knowing the right thing to do and refusing to do it. In doing so we do great damage to our very being.

Help me to not be afraid of what people can do to me Lord. Give me a confidence of the heart.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.

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