Posted by: rcottrill | November 15, 2009

Lord’s Day Meditation – The Need for Endurance

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.” (Heb. 10:35-37)

We “have need of endurance.” The Greek word is hupomone, and it refers to steady patience, or patient endurance. Literally, the word means to remain under, meaning to stay the course without faltering (as patient Job did, Jas. 5:11). It is a quality represented by the seed that fell on good ground in Jesus’ Parable of the Soils (Lk. 8:13)–which stays there till its job is done.

Having said that, it is important to note that the Bible’s patience, or endurance, is not a passive resignation to our fate. It is a characteristic of vital, active Christians, committed to serving the Lord in spite of obstacles and difficulties, and who understand that the positive effects of their service may not be immediately apparent. That is the thrust of the reminder in Hebrews 10:37 that Christ will come back in “a little while.” It is then our varied ministries will come to full flower, and we shall reap eternal rewards.

Such patient endurance leads to the further development of Christian character (cf. Rom. 5:3-4; Jas. 1:3; II Pet. 1:6). It is something to pray for (II Thess. 3:5), and to strive for. So “let us run with endurance (Heb. 12:1). And God is the source of this quality. He is “the God of patience [same Greek word]” (Rom. 15:5).

To lift some words of the author of Hebrews out of their context for a moment, “Let us go on!” (Heb. 6:1). As Philip Bliss’s 1870 gospel song puts it,

Ho, my comrades! see the signal waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.

“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”

Fierce and long the battle rages, but our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander, cheer, my comrades, cheer!


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