“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23 (NIV).
Hebrews was written to Christians who had undergone severe persecution and who were now threatened with even more suffering. They had remained steadfast before, but the author feared that they might now recant to avoid being further oppressed. These believers were encouraged to endure, warned not to abandon their faith in Jesus, and to hold steadfastly to their hope, because “he who promised is faithful”.
“For he who promised is faithful“. That’s the key. One of God’s attributes is God’s faithfulness. The Hebrew word that is translated as faithfulness means steadfastness, firmness, fidelity. The believers were being encouraged to hold unwaveringly to their hope in Jesus, confident that the one who promised was completely trustworthy and reliable.
Followers of Christ have suffered persecution throughout history. Stolen properties, victimization, discrimination, imprisonment, burning of churches and homes, beatings and martyrdom, have been the fate of countless followers of “The Way”. Those who have held steadfastly to their confidence in God have learned that there is nothing that God has promised that God cannot and will not deliver. God has the capacity, power, and ability, to deliver whatever God promises, even if God seems to be operating in slow motion. Seeing that a thousand years is like one day to God (see Ps. 90:4, 2 Pet. 3:8), God might appear slow, but God is faithful.
You and I may not be experiencing suffering and persecution to the same extent as the recipients of this epistle. However, we face various difficulties and challenges, and through all the changing scenes of life God remains faithful. Case in point are the debilitating effects on families, worship, individuals, Church activities, industry and economies, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, God has remained faithful. God has inspired believers to be creative, imaginative, and determined to hold firmly to the promise that not even the gates of hell shall prevail against the things of God. God has enabled Bible studies, Pastoral Care, Counselling, Celebration of the Sacrament, Worship, and other Church business to continue, even if in formats that we never imagined. The people of God are now re-imagining Church because our faithful, creative God has proven again that God can do “exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20).
Hezekiah Walker wrote an inspiring song which says: “Faithful, faithful, faithful is our God”. Inspired by Jeremiah’s affirmation, “Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23), Thomas Obediah Chishlom wrote:
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Our God is faithful. Let nothing turn you around from believing in and trusting God to see you through. God can and will never fail.
Thought: God will never let you down.
Prayer Focus: Pray for those who are being persecuted, ridiculed, encountering difficulties at home or work, and are being tempted to recant.
From: Everald Galbraith