“Keep doing what you’re doing!”
“Proceed with your day!”
These are all exhortations to keep going - to persevere. [The last one was a funny text message from my grandson, Beau, to his mom the other day.]
This is the message the author of Hebrews now gives to his readers. “You know the truth. You have been walking in it for years, now carry on! Keep doing what you’re doing. DON’T TURN BACK!
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:32-39)
He’s saying, “Don’t give up! Remember the joy of your early days with Christ, when you gladly suffered persecution, because you had a heavenly perspective. So now, keep your eyes on the prize, on the hope of your calling. Christ will be coming soon. You don’t see it now, but you KNOW it will happen, because He who promised is faithful!”
And then he quotes Habakkuk to remind them how we are to live in view of that promise:
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (vs.38-39)
Those of us who know and follow Christ do it by faith! We do not see with our eyes, but we believe with all of our hearts that God’s Word is true, and that Christ will return one day. That is the hope that sustains the believer no matter what his circumstances!
When we have actually seen or experienced something, it is no longer faith. But most of our walk with God is done by faith, before seeing anything. We believe and trust that God is sovereign in our lives, and He knows where He’s taking us, even if we have no idea - and even if the path is through the valley, or into the wilderness or into the heart of a raging storm. God is doing a work in our lives to make us more like Christ.
Sometimes the refining process is painful - even excruciating. I like what Beth Moore has said about this. In view of eternity, our life here, no matter how long or short, is about 5 minutes. And we can do anything if we know it’s only for five minutes! That perspective gives us clarity as we go through the rough spots! We can persevere in the knowledge that God knows what He’s doing. So continue to walk BY FAITH. We begin in grace, we grow in grace, and we walk in grace. Don’t turn back to your own meager efforts that gain you nothing!
This is Easter weekend. Tomorrow is Sunday, the day that changed history and all of our lives. We can rest as those who walk by faith, because HE LIVES! Next stop: Hebrews 11 and the roll call of faith! Can’t wait! Happy Easter, indeed!