On March 6, 1987, Eamon Coughlan, the Irish world record holder at 1500 meters, was running in a
qualifying heat at the World Indoor Track Championships in Indianapolis. With two and a half laps
left, he tripped and fell, but he got up and with great effort managed to catch the l … More
Hebrews encourages believers to persevere in their Christian faith and conduct when facing persecution and pressure. There had been a time when those to whom this letter was written had known persecution; and they had learned what it was to become involved with those under suspicion (vv. 32-34). They had met that situation with gallantry and with honor.
The Christians were encouraged to remember the sufferings they had endured right after they were saved. They had been willing to suffer reproach, even to the point of losing all their earthly possessions. They had cheerfully and compassionately accepted the persecution and hardships that came their way. People can only do this when they live by faith (v. 38). “Now the just shall live by faith” is taken from Habakuk 2:4 and also quoted in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11. We don’t usually think of suffering as good for us, but it can build our character and our patience.
A believer who does not walk by faith often goes back into his old ways and wastes his life. A good way to fortify people against future trials is to remind them of the courage they displayed in the past. That seems to be what the author is doing in these verses. As long as they had their eyes fixed on the Lord who never changes, nothing could move them or divert them from following Him. They would be able to face all the pressures and all of the problems of life steadfastly and unmovable, just like they had in the past. The writer’s call to them was to continue with determination and perseverance.
Christianity does not demand the impossible; but if I am always as honest, as kind, as courageous, as courteous as I can be, my life will be much more profitable.
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 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.
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Hebrews 7:1-10Melchizedek The Priest
Hebrews 7:11-17Jesus Like Melchizedek
Hebrews 7:18-22The Greatness of The New Priest
Hebrews 7:23-28An Unchangeable Priesthood
Hebrews 8:1-6The Better Sanctuary In Which Christ Ministers
Hebrews 8:7-13The Promise of The New Covenant in The Old
Hebrews 9:1-10Limitation in The Earthly Sanctuary
Hebrews 9:11-15Christ Opens The Inner Sanctuary
Hebrews 9:16-22Christ’s Death is Necessary
Hebrews 9:23-28Christ is The Perfect Sacrifice
Hebrews 10:1-10Animal Sacrifices Are Insufficient
Hebrews 10:11-18Christ’s Death Perfects The Sanctified
Hebrews 10:19-25Hold Fast Your Confession
Hebrews 10:26-31The Just Live By Faith
Hebrews 10:32-39A Call to Persevere
Hebrews 11:1-6The Definition of Faith
Hebrews 11:7-12Abraham’s Faith
Hebrews 11:13-19The Heavenly Hope
Hebrews 11:17-29The Champions of Faith
Hebrews 11:30-35By Faith They Overcame
Hebrews 11:35-40Obtaining a Good Testimony Through Faith
Hebrews 12:1-8The Discipline of God
Hebrews 12:9-15Renewing Your Spiritual Vitality
Hebrews 12:16-24The Glorious Company
Hebrews 12:25-29Hearing The Heavenly Voice
Hebrews 13:1-8Moral Directions
Hebrews 13:9-14Religious Directions
Hebrews 13:15-25Prayer Requested