Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. (Hebrews 10:36)
How many people do you know who had to suffer much when they were in their early days of faith. Did you yourself suffer at all because you felt you must stand your ground in the face of attack? Were there any attacks? Has any one you know faced any kind of religious persecution? I reckon the chances are fairly good, that neither you, nor anyone you know, has had to face any serious kind of opposition to their faith. I know a few who were bullied at school because of their faith, but that’s about it (by the way, the bullies didn’t succeed, those I know of are all still christians). On reading today’s passage it has stuck me pretty hard, that our faith is not just supposed to be a nice idea that we like. It is supposed to be a whole new approach to life. This new approach sees the joy in every situation and aims to share the Love of God at every possible opportunity.
Hebrews 10:32-36 NLT
Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
It seems very clear to me that Jesus fully expected his followers to be seriously persecuted. It is also quite clear that many of them were. However, although things have definitely not gone according to plan for me since I became a committed Christian, I can’t say that I have experienced any degree of persecution for my faith. Actually, quite the opposite has been true. So, surely the only goal one can have after reading such a passage as today’s, is to be truly grateful for all that one has in this life. Everything that is not an openly hostile act of persecution should be recognised, rather than taken for granted. If you are feeling worn down and weary, give thanks that you are not under arrest. Be truly grateful that you are not likely to receive a beating for confessing your faith in public. God has promised you true freedom from this world and the chains of sin, so rejoice that you have the knowledge to claim your salvation. No matter how bad you think things have got in your own personal life, always remember Jesus was a man too, and so he knows how you are feeling. Have the courage to trust him and you will surely receive all that you hope for and more. Or, in the words of one of my favourite verses of scripture: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)
Ezekiel 23:1-49, Hebrews 10:18-39, Psalms 109:1-31, Proverbs 27:13