How much patience do people have today?
In most cases, very little, at least that is so in this country. Life is lived in a constant “hurry’ – you can perceive a sense of urgency in many – this life is all I have, let me enjoy it as much as possible as the future looks very uncertain, especially in the longer term.
“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 you and I?
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 “the same earnestness” in our lives, developing a character that leads to us having “the full assurance of hope until the end” possessing the essential qualities of “faith and patience” and showing them day after day.
Our reading in Jonah provides us with 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 just 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 can and does weave the human actions of those he calls to serve him into his purpose. Do you sense that he has weaved, or is in the process of weaving his purpose into yours in at least some small way?
Let us, as we read further in Hebrews,
“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.