Summary: Do not lose your confidence.
Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Paul presents a perfect argument for a future tense kind of faith that is fully invested in that which exists only in the realm of hope. It is this forward-looking aspect of faith that I have referred to, in the past, as forward facing faith. It is this indomitable force in the heart of a man that neither gets bogged down in the present nor anchors itself to the past but rather looks forward to the future with longing and desire for something more than what it now has. While holding fast to the foundations of past blessing and past experience, it presses through the difficulties of the present and reaches for the promise of the future. Faith peers into tomorrow in an effort to catch a glimpse of promises fulfilled. It is a hope that strains beyond what it can see in an effort to grasp that which it has only hoped for. Hebrews 11 is a testimony to the power of forward facing faith. However, it is the context of that testimony that makes it so powerful. It is presented as the evidence for an exhortation that begins at the end of Chapter 10 and continues at the beginning of Chapter 12. Hebrews 11 defines the faith that is presented at the end of the preceding chapter and is to be acted upon at the beginning of the following chapter.
In latter verses of Hebrews 10 one finds an exhortation that, according to Bible scholars, express the central theme of the whole book. Beginning with verse 32 the writer presents to us a people that once had great faith but now are in danger of casting away their faith and wasting their lives. These are people that once were enlightened, once received a revelation of truth and once embraced the future tense promises of God. However, we discover them in an entirely different context. Now they are weary, now they are overwhelmed, now they a struggling under the heavy weight of the trials and troubles that have besieged them. Once they stood fast, once they held firm, once they endured storms and tragedies, but now they have finally come to the place where their faith is wavering and the very real challenges of their present circumstances threaten to completely overpower them. If we were honest this afternoon, each of us would have to admit that we have felt just like they felt. There are times when the darkness of the valley comes crashing in upon us, times when trouble and tragedy completely engulf us, times when circumstances and difficulties threaten to overwhelm us.
During those times it sometimes seems that it would be easy to simply give in to the realities of this life, to toss in the towel and give up on hopes and dreams that we have only seen through the lens of faith. How many people have given up on the promises of God, in the midst of some difficult battle? How many folks have cast away their faith in a futile effort to remain afloat in the stormy seas of this life? How many ministries have been lost, dreams crushed and hopes vanquished because people became completely overwhelmed by what they could see, by what seemed so real, while they relinquished their grasp on the dreams and callings of God? How many have settled for the substance of this life while forsaking a better reward that exists only in the realm of hope and faith? This is the reality to which the book of Hebrews speaks. It is a message of hope to those that are on the verge of forsaking the things that they have been promised in order to obtain the things that they can see.
The writer’s admonition, to those that are embroiled in this struggle is succinct but powerful. Admonishing them not to throw away their confidence in the promises of God he tells them exactly what they need. The KJV translates verse 36 this way, “For ye have need of patience…” The Greek word for patience is hypomones, which conveys the meaning of “patient endurance.” It involves overcoming difficulties and withstanding pressures. The writer, by using this word, is emphasizing the tenacity of patience that endures hardships and trials. The ESV translates the same word as endurance saying, “For you have need of endurance…” This is the point upon which Hebrews 11 is founded: You need endurance! You need a faith that will weather the storms of this life. You need a faith that will refuse to become grounded in the present reality but will extend itself with earnest expectation towards a promise that has not yet been received. A faith that will strive and strain to break free from the present struggles and hardships, you need a faith that will endure!