By Bob Hoekstra
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39)
Our present verses represent the third time that Habakkuk's pronouncement on living by faith is repeated in the New Testament. "The just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). In Romans 1:17, it was connected with the gospel of Christ. In Galatians 3:12, it was contrasted with living under the law. Here, it is seen as the pathway to great blessings like spiritual endurance, God-pleasing obedience, and pressing ahead in assurance.
The opening exhortation warns about forsaking bold dependence upon the Lord. "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward." The loss of great blessing is the reason given. The Lord wants us to trust in Him without wavering, from the beginning of faith unto the end of our earthly pilgrimage. This makes us consistent partakers of the blessings of grace that are ours in Christ. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Hebrews 3:14).
These blessings include endurance. "For you have need of endurance." The Christian life requires spiritual stamina. The journey of growth, trials, service, and battle can become wearisome. We can be tempted to slack off, to quit pressing ahead. Such is always vain thinking for us, and it is displeasing to the Lord. " If anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." It is by faith that we persevere in the Christian race. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Also, these blessings of faith include obedience and assurance. "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." As we walk by faith, we are enabled to do God's will. Walking in obedience with Christ builds assurance that we will some day be in the presence of the Lord. "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry." Meanwhile, by faith, assurance grows that we are not among those whose profession proves to be vain. "Now the just shall live by faith . . . we are not of those who draw back to perdition but of those who believe to the saving of the soul."
Dear Father, I need more spiritual stamina. I desire to please You by obedience. I long to walk in more assurance. I praise You that all this is ours in Christ, by faith, Amen.