Don't Throw Away Your Confidence In Jesus
Persevere confidently. Those thoughts run through this section (Hebrews 10:19-39) as an appeal to discouraged and pressurised believers. Their implied question was, 'Is it all worth it?' The writer replies, 'Yes!' God sees your faith and will reward you, but it is not immediate (James 1:4). We wait until Jesus comes again. In the waiting time, trust Him. In the hard and dark times, keep trusting Him. When He appears, He will give you what He has promised if you persevere (James 5:8).
In any relationship, consistency is a prized attribute. So it is with God. We come to Him on His terms, by His grace and for His purpose. He is not just a temporary rescue service to make us feel better until we can manage by ourselves again. Nor is He standing by to admire what we do. He is God, and we must live according to what He loves and hates, and not by our personal preferences and ego-centric desires. The issues are not settled in our lifetime, but will await the return of Jesus Christ. So if we are serious about our faith, we will persevere in doing right and keep trusting Him to guard us as well as guide.
But what about those who do not persevere, who start well and give up? Those who no longer have any expectation of the Return of Christ to vindicate the righteous? The writer first uses Habakkuk 2:3-4 with Isaiah 26:20 to affirm that the Lord is coming back and will not delay. Then he says that the Lord will not take any pleasure in the apostate, however keen their early enthusiasm. He concludes with implying that eternal destruction awaits all who have knowingly turned their backs away from the Lord Jesus. However he does not want to condemn, but to encourage the weak and fainthearted to keep trusting the Lord, who has loved them and died to save them (James 1:12).
Endurance does not come easily, not is it fully achieved quickly. If something disturbs us, we shy away from it. If we have been hurt once, we do not want to be hurt again. So perseverance is not an emotional response to what pleases us, but a decision of our wills to face what we do not like for the sake of the One we love. That is how parents choose to exhaust their energy to care for difficult or sick children, or their own parents. They do not like the process and self-denial involved; but they do it because they love. It is the same for those who love Jesus (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). His presence in their lives may lead to all kinds of unwanted challenges. But it is better to have Him, than be without Him – because of the relationship bond. If you are feeling like giving up, stop and ponder His love to You and ask Him to give you the confidence to persevere (Hebrews 12:1).
© Dr Paul Adams