February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”—Hebrews 6:12 (NKJV)
We don’t know who wrote the Book of Hebrews, but we do know their purpose for writing it. Just a few decades into the church’s existence, some stress fractures were beginning to show. Enormous pressure was being placed on the first generation of Christians to deny their newfound faith. This was especially true for those Jewish believers who were being coerced to revert back into the old familiar system of Judaism, and many of whom did.
The author of Hebrews composed this letter to stem this tide by exposing how much better Christ is than Judaism, and to encourage them to stay the course of following Him. It wouldn’t be easy. The pressure to cave and crawl back to the familiar comforts of their community would only intensify. But stay the course they must, just like those who had already inherited God’s promises through faith and patience. What would be needed to carry these Jewish converts to Christ across the finish line? Patience. The same patience that every follower of Jesus needs in their lives.
Now, we hear the word “patience” and we often associate it with notions that really don’t do it justice. “Patience, oh that’s when I don’t lose it when someone cuts in front of me at Starbucks.” Or, “I was so patient the other day when this telemarketer called, I didn’t hang up on them until they finished pitching their product.” Those scenarios don’t really describe the “patience” in view here. The actual Greek word means, “to bear up under trouble.” It means you don’t buckle under immense pressure.
Imagine a hydraulic press that crushes everything you put in to it—eggs, watermelons, pottery, cans of soup, microwaves . . . nothing stands a chance. The press does what it does and a lot of times is feels like our own lives are in that press. But imagine something comes along so strong that it withstands the pressure of the press. It won’t be crushed or altered by the external force in any way. That’s a picture of biblical “patience.” It possesses the strength to withstand the pressures being exerted against it.
This is the quality each Christian needs in order to withstand the external forces that press in against us and would do damage to our testimony for Christ. For instance, an employer who is dealing deviously with you, or a relative who is taking advantage of your commitment to forgive them and work towards reconciliation. There’s a persistent sickness for which there seems no end in sight. Your adversary, the devil, is relentlessly pushing the buttons that always seem to push you over the edge. Patience is needed in each of these and countless other situations where the press is being applied.
Thankfully, this patience is something that is freely given to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. As we abide in Christ and cultivate a deeper relationship with Him, the Spirit produces this patience in us (Galatians 5:22). And through this heavenly gift, we’re able to hold up under any pressure we might experience in this life. May the Lord fill us with the patience we need in order to inherit His promises.
Pause: What was the purpose for the Book of Hebrews being written?
Practice: How would you describe the biblical concept of “patience” in your own words? Write it down and share it with a Christian friend. Discuss it, pray over it, and see if it truly aligns with what we see in Scripture.
Pray: Lord God, we are weak and fragile, easily crushed and cast down under the slightest pressure. We need Your strength of patience to endure and overcome the pressures that we will encounter as our faith in You is challenged. Please continue to produce this patience in us by the work of Your Spirit as You continue to complete the good work You’ve begun in us. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.