God never promised us an easy life. In fact, Jesus promised us just the opposite. That there would be times of trouble. That people would even hate us for following Christ.
And while that may or not be real to you right now, it was very real for the people reading this letter.
They had been publicly humiliated and persecuted. They had been tossed in prison and had even had their possessions taken from them. Through it all, they had stood. For a while.
But now, they seemed to be teetering, and so the writer of Hebrews encourages them, “Don’t fall now. Don’t let all that you’ve endured until now be for nothing. Hang in there. You will be richly rewarded if you don’t give up.” (32-35)
Then he says,
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 very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. (36-37)
“In just a little while.” Those words resonate with me.
In just a little while, all these hardships will pass away. In just a little while, Jesus will come back for you. And when he does, all these things you’re going through will become as shadows. All your hardships will become as distant memories in the light of Him.
Until then, what do we do?
But my righteous one will live by faith. (38)
In short, keep trusting God. Keep believing that he will do all that he has promised. For it is that faith that will give us the hope to keep going when everything is falling down around us.
But if we shrink back, if we lose our faith and constantly walk about in fear and doubt, we cannot and will not know the approval of God in our lives. For there is no way to please him if we live that way. (38)
But as the writer of Hebrews asserts,
We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (39)
What hardships are you going through? What doubts are you struggling with?
Take your eyes off of these things. These things will only cause you to shrink back in fear. But these things are only for a little while.
So put your eyes back on Jesus. Remember his faithfulness. Remember his love.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.
— Helen H. Lemmel,