Is anyone else struggling in this pandemic? The news reported people losing their jobs because they are not complying with the mandates. I have heard from many people who share with me that they are scared, anxious, lonely because of the coronavirus and all that is going on today. Many people are sharing with me that they are struggling with their faith. I have heard from people who are having a rough time in their marriages and stressed out as parents. I see people who are tired, frustrated, irritable, overwhelmed, and sad. Here is what the Lord says to us today:
Hebrews 10:35-38, “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 very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”
I have learned from life and God’s Word that hardships come and go, but we need to continue to endure. This verse encourages us: Do not cast away your confidence; that is, do not abandon your faith in times of trial, struggle, persecution, or in a pandemic, rather persevere and let your faith be genuine and sincere. This kind of faith trusts in the Lord for what He has done in the past and trusts Him in the present and for the future (read Romans 8:12-25; Galatians 3:10-13).
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
The believers at the time Hebrews 10 was written were being encouraged to persevere, that is, remain steadfast in their Godly behaviors, continue to reach for the goal of Heaven, and “hold firm” (Hebrew 3:6; 10:32) onto Jesus, His Word, the community of Believers. They were facing persecution. The fact is, if we have believed and received Jesus as our Savior and Lord, then the Holy Spirit lives in us, and if the Holy Spirit lives in us, then we can persevere.
Our perseverance and endurance will grow out of our commitment to Jesus Christ and our willingness to follow Him and His teachings every day. Jesus warns us that we will face trials, struggles, persecution because we have chosen to love Him loudly in the world we live in: And you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22 NRSV).
It seems to me that this pandemic is filtering out the committed Christians from the lukewarm Christians.
Revelation 3:16 (ESV) says, “So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Some of us are giving in to the pressures of the pandemic, turning our back on Jesus and His church. The Bible is encouraging us: DON’T! The benefits of holding the ground, continuing to live for Christ are so many. Here are a couple of benefits: (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Standing firm through the pandemic is not a way to be saved but the evidence that a person is committed to Jesus.
I want to clarify that persistence is not a means to earn salvation; it results from a committed life. This perseverance will help us do the will of God. And at the end (another benefit), we will receive what He has promised (Hebrews 10:34-35). More of these promises are found in Hebrews 11-12. But more specifically, we will receive God’s promise of eternal life that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15).
“For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” One of the promises that believers can look forward to is the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (see Habakkuk 2:3-4).
Have we forgotten that Jesus Christ is coming back for His church? This truth ought to outweigh all the discomfort faced by believers in the pandemic. But does it? But my righteous one will live by faith. Can we persevere to the end? ABSOLUTELY! “Shrinks back” is a metaphor for those who DO NOT live by faith. As Christians, we may feel angry and discouraged as we see what goes on in the world around us. God’s answer to us: Be patient! I will work out my plans at my perfect timing.
Lamentations 3:25-26 says, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” It isn’t easy to be patient and persevere during this pandemic, but it helps us remember that God is with us, and He is encouraging us to WAIT FOR IT! Trusting God completely means that I trust Him even when I don’t understand why certain events are happening. But I trust God, knowing that He directs all things according to His purposes, plans and timing.
Living By Faith!