People don’t have much patience today, or so it seems. Life is a constant hurry, a permanent urgent rush. This life is all I have and the future looks very uncertain, so let me enjoy it as much as possible. Few people live, feeling the eye of the Creator and His Son on them – yet that is the only way to live. Paul told the Hebrews, “we feel sure of better things – things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do”. Could he write that of us?
Then Paul adds, “we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (6:9-12).
Let us make sure we show this earnestness in our lives, developing a character that leads to “the full assurance of hope until the end” possessing the essential qualities of “faith and patience” and showing them each day. Jonah is an example of one who tried to run away from the responsibility God put on him; he had no active faith. Our faith cannot be passive. Those with genuine faith are “working together with God” (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Jonah learnt the hard way, that he was expected to do this: but God weaves human actions of those He calls into His purpose. Do you sense that He is weaving His purpose into yours in some way?
As we read further in Hebrews, let us “hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor …” (verses 18,19). I think we can apply verse 17 to us – that God has multiplied the lessons of scripture for us “to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose”. In a world that has become chaotic and godless, how much will we need to make use of that “anchor”? Only a true faith (and the relationship it creates) will make this possible – so that “through faith and patience” we will “inherit the promises”. And how beyond all human comprehension are those promises.