Sometimes life is just really, really hard. Even when we are not necessarily struggling in our walk with the Lord, we can struggle with endurance, with discouragement, with weariness. It can seem like continuing on in our current state is too much to bear. How do we press on when we’re so exhausted or overwhelmed? The writer of Hebrews, inspired by the Spirit of God, has given us one very effective and powerful prescription.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
That passage is jam-packed with truth we can apply and live out even in our driest, weariest, most discouraging and painful seasons. We need that Word to guide us and empower us to endure.
Hebrews 10:32-29 tells us that struggles do come after we have been “enlightened” (after we have “seen the light” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ). Yes, even as Christians, we will struggle and we will have to endure suffering. This passage tells about some of the struggles we might experience, even when we seem to be doing everything right. But then verse 36 tells us that we “have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
We do need endurance. God wouldn’t have told us that in His Word if our lives were going to be easy.
It is encouraging, though, to read that, after we have done the will of God, there is a promise we will receive. Hebrews 10:37-39 say this:
“For, ‘Yet a little while,
And the coming one will come and will not delay;
But my righteous one shall live by faith,
And if he shrinks back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.’
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
The promise we get to anticipate – the reward that makes enduring worthwhile – is the return of Jesus Christ and an incredible eternity spent with Him and all the unimaginable gifts and wonder He will continuously provide. We can’t even comprehend how amazing and awesome it will be!
But Hebrews tells us that we must not “shrink back”. We need to endure, to live by faith. The question is “How?!” Our answer lies in Hebrews 12.
For the next few weeks, I’ll be digging into how we can wield God’s Word to help us endure. Stick around! Hang in there! I’m praying you’ll be encouraged.