“If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and let not injustice dwell in your tents….
And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.”
Job 11:14, 18
At first glance, these words of Job’s friend might seem wise. But I sense danger in them. The danger of making my righteousness the basis of my hope, the foundation of my security.
What a shaky, uncertain foundation that would be.
And how contrary to the gospel.
Because while, yes, we must put away our iniquities, that is not my hope. We are commanded to pursue righteousness, but that is not my security.
My hope is found in His righteousness, not mine. My security rests in His promise to never let me go and to continue His purifying work in me to ultimately and joyfully present me before His throne, blameless (Jude 1:24).
If my security and hope rest in my own righteousness, or in my repentance, I will lose them each time I fail. Despair will enter in, along with the question of whether God will forgive me this time – or if I pushed Him too far. But making Christ the foundation means that hope remains. I am still secure, because I know that my God is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9), and He will redeem even my wrongs to bring Him glory and shine light into a dark world. It does not free me from responsibility, but it does free me from fear. Because His love is steadfast and His salvation is forever. For Jesus “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12).
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23). Notice – our confidence comes not from our perfection, our feeling sorry enough, or our not pushing God too far. Our confidence comes from the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. He opened the way for us to enter confidently into God’s holy presence and draw near in full assurance of faith and with unwavering hope.
Rest assured today, if you have placed your faith in what Christ has done, you have an anchor for your soul that will not fail. You can hold fast to hope and take your rest in security, because you have fled for refuge in the One who will never remove His saving hand. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
“So when God desired to show more convincingly…the unchangeable character of His purpose,
He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.”