Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
I have an old black and silver combination lock, used so often that the black paint on the dial is chipped and worn. My dad used it on his tool box for years, and I used it on my high school and university lockers. Now, I keep it in my gym bag for use at the local club locker room. It was made in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, by Dudley Lock, and was patented in 1931. I know the combination by heart, so often have I dialed the old but faithful tumblers. It has endured!
I need endurance, too, not only in exercising, but also in faith to receive God's promises.
Hebrews 10:36-39 – 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. (NKJV)
The writer of Hebrews wrote to a discouraged group of Christians. They had endured trials for a time, but it appeared that they were falling away from their faith.
Did you know that the Lord repeats the words of Habakkuk 2:4, "the just shall live by faith", three times in the New Testament — Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and here in verse 38 — in order to drive it home for us?
The roughest and most discouraging trials that we go through happen when we are doing God's will to the best of our ability, but the fulfillment of the promises seems so far off in the distance. He allows this to test our obedience and to help us to grow up spiritually. But He has also given us a gallery of faithful believers in Scripture to inspire us. The emphasis here is on living by faith, just as our Bible heroes lived by faith and endured.
Many people start exercising at the gym with great resolutions at the New Year, but drop away after just a few visits. Will we be tempted and be dragged back into old traditions and a mindset that leads nowhere? Or will we be among those believers who last and endure to the end, to receive the promise of God? Let's choose this enduring relationship with God, and let there be no other replacement for Jesus and His saving our souls.
Prayer: We pray today, dear Lord, because we need endurance to do Your will. Keep our eyes on Your promise, because we know that You will come just at the right time for us. May we live by faith, each and every day. Amen.