Hebrews 10:35-38a    So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith.”

In these ‘last days’ when there is increasing violent, merciless persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the World, our hearts are moved by their suffering and they are much in our prayers.  It is hard for us even to get our head around the COST it is to them to turn from empty, unfulfilling and enslaving, manmade religions to serve the living and true God who has revealed himself in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Scriptures!.

It was a similar situation for the early Christians to whom the ‘Letter to the Hebrews’ was written.  In the face of all their pain and trials they were encouraged to persevere in their submission to the will of God in spite of their intense suffering.  Where did they have to fix their minds in order to be able to do this?  On three things:

Firstly, God has made quite specific promises to all who trust in Jesus, and this God has always been proven FAITHFUL to all his promises (cf 6:17-18, Psalms 86:15, 89:2; 146:6, etc, etc, & 1 Thessalonians 5:24) – so it is worth pressing on regardless of the cost;

Secondly, in an ‘eternal’ perspective, it will be only a relatively ‘short’ time that their suffering will have to be endured.  And it is not surprising that the Canon of Scripture closes with the words, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21);

Thirdly, once we have been declared ‘righteous’ in God’s eyes through the finished work of Christ on our behalf, our FAITH in him will enable us to survive every circumstance.

In the light of all this, let us determine to persevere through all the relatively minor opposition we face today, and let us continue to uphold in constant prayer all those for whom the opposition is far from ‘minor’.