Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christian Endurance

February 1, 2013

In these closing words of Chapter 10 Paul concludes with a reminder to his hearers -- you and me and the Christian community -- of a time after one's baptism when there was "a great contest of suffering" which they endured.  But, Paul says, "knowing you had a better and lasting possession .  . do not throw away your confidence."  Paul writes this because he does not want that Christians should abandon "the will of God and receiving what he has promised."

Has not every Christian stood in the same circumstances?  Have we not endured at least "one" great contest of of suffering?  We know that suffering comes in many different experiences.  Today it may be the feared pink slip; it may be whether or not to have an abortion; leaving one's birth religion for another religion.  Perhaps it is living with infidelity to one's vows to God or a marriage partner,; perhaps it is the failure of a marriage and the enumeration of more might fill another page.  Regardless of its nature, Paul encourages us not to be "among those who drawback ... but among those who have faith (a strong personal relationship with God) and will possess God."

For me working through Chapter 10 was a blessing and a tool of the Holy Spirit used to bring to mind the simple reminder that we are truly gifted, magnificently blessed because all our sins have been forgiven.  A remarkable gift is that Jesus willing died for us.