Author: Ron Graham
Now we look at passages toward the end of the letter to the Hebrews where the writer pleads with us to "consider" our endurance and perseverance in the faith. In one passage Jesus is called "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
No story is any good if the author starts it but does not finish it. Jesus is an author who finishes his work.
Christ’s work is to perfect our faith, so we may endure through many trials until finally glory comes and we live happily ever after. Every day Jesus is helping this story to be finished, and we should consider how he is doing this.
The Christian life is fraught with temptation to sin and with much struggle and suffering. Why does God allow this? We should see this not as abandonment by God, but as Fatherly discipline to correct and strengthen us (yet not taking that analogy further than intended).
We should run our race with endurance, looking unto Jesus (who himself suffered), and to the glories of his kingdom.
The Hebrew writer says, "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Hebrews 10:36).
He then says, "Consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:3).
The example of Jesus "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2) helps us to continue on the true path through every difficulty. "Therefore do not cast away your confidence which has great reward" (Hebrews 10:35).
Through the intercession of Jesus we are able to "hold fas the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).
Christ’s example of faithfulness through every trial and temptation, helps us to confidently trust him and continue to follow him to the end.
We should also "consider how to stimulate one another to love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24) Jesus uses each of us to encourage others. This is one way that he helps us all to endure.
This is not just a simple matter of being encouraged by others. We should also try ourselves to give encouragement. It’s a fact that when we encourage others to endure, we feel more encouraged ourselves.
The Hebrew writer suggests another thing we can do to help us endure. "Recall the former days in which, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings" (Hebrews 10:32).
Most of us who have been Christians for any length of time can remember times when we struggled to remain faithful and were challenged strongly. We held on then and came through with the Lord’s help. Just remembering those times of victory will strengthen us to endure present or future distress.