Summary: Life can be hard. Christianity can be a struggle. But the strength to go on comes from God
Hebrews: Chapter 10b
November 16th, 2008
It is not about how you start. It is about how you finish. Have you ever seen a young couple in love? It can be one of the most beautiful things to watch. Seeing these two young people that are absolutely captivated by each other is inspiring. At Ozark I had a good friend named Vince. Our freshmen year he met this girl Joy. They started by hanging out together in groups then they began to see each other in smaller settings with more personal time. When Joy was around Vince would glow. I used to tease him because even thinking about Joy or the mention of her name would bring this huge smile to his face. They really were perfect for each other. I remember one night in the dorms he came back from spending time with her and he was on cloud nine. It was hard to talk to him he was so happy. I was sitting in my room and he came with all the energy of a little squirrel having found a treasure cache of acorns. When he calmed down to a point where his words were audible I asked him what he was so excited about. He said he spent the whole evening with Joy at Dioko’s which used to be a coffee shop on Main Street. I nodded and was like: “Yea….so….” That was it. He was ecstatic because he spent the evening with Joy at a coffee shop reading. They had just read sitting next to each other. I said: your such a chic. But he didn’t care. They have been married now for almost three years. Everyone who has sees them together up to this day always comments on how cute they are as a couple.
Young love is sweet but it hasn’t been through the trials. It hasn’t endured the hardships. Young love for all its beauty has never had to endure. Seeing a couple in love is nice. Seeing a couple in love after 30 years is breath taking. There is nothing like seeing that couple that has gone through the gauntlet and come out the other side. Life is not always easy in fact it usually isn’t. Enduring a world full of so much hardship it can be difficult to say the least. Nothing truly shows love like a couple that has endured through all the problems life has thrown at them. I am not impressed with couples that are in love after being married for a few years. But I am captivated by the ones that have gone through this life together.
You see it is not about how you start. It is about how you finish. As we go through this race of life we must learn how to endure the hardships of this world. If the life of a Christian is a race do you ever feel like quitting? Have you ever felt like everything in your life was falling apart and you just did not have the strength to go on? Do you ever feel like there is just too much to do? Do you feel worn out like you can’t go on? Do you ever feel like quitting? Do you ever feel like giving up? How do you get through those times? We need something to hold onto because accomplishment means nothing without endurance. So this morning I want to talk about enduring.
The Hebrew people were having a hard time. They had suffered some persecution for their faith and they had been through a lot for the Gospel. As a result many of them were considering giving up. Life was just too hard and they were not sure they could make it. Now we have dealt with a whole lot of issues in our study on the book of Hebrews but how do you deal with someone who wants to quit? What do you say to someone who is at the end of their rope and considering giving up? How do you encourage them to endure? In Hebrews 10:19 our author tries to show them the importance of pressing on. He reminds them of the hope that they have so they can carry on. Look at what he says:
Heb 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, Heb 10:20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, Heb 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, Heb 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Heb 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.