The writer of Hebrews challenged the persecuted believers in crisis to whom the epistle was addressed with these words: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised”) (Heb 10:23 AV). Yesterday’s muse challenged us not to let go of the hope of our faith. But it should be noted that there is a correlating principle that should invoke a believer to tenaciously hold on to that hope. In other words, we don’t hold on for the sake of simply holding on; true faith projects hope which has an expectation of fulfillment in accordance with God’s will. The faith of believers should be centered around the promises of God. And, with that indeed being the case, said faith then is grounded in the character of the one who made the promise. The Hebrew writer states that the God who made the promise is faithful. Illuminating is the following translation of Hebrews 10:23: “Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.” (Heb. 10:23 CEB). We can rest assured, since God’s character is one of reliability, that the hope borne of our faith will blossom with ripened fruit in due course. However, the key to this entire process is simply not to waver.
One might query: Just how reliable is God? The Hebrew writer speaks to that as well. In drawing upon the promise God made to Abraham and also swearing by Himself as the guarantor of the promise He made, we are told in Hebrews 6, by extension, the promises that God has made to us are fashioned in the same manner. They, i.e., the promises, can be counted as done because God, the guarantor, is unquestionably reliable. The writer speaks directly to us when he shares that “When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge.” So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us” (Heb. 6:17–18 CEB). God can deliver on promises in a manner that no one else can. Philo, the philosopher, reminds us that “God alone therefore is the strongest security first for himself, and in the next place for his deeds also, so that he naturally swore by himself when giving assurance regarding himself, a thing impossible for anyone else.” Isn’t it good to know that God, even in times of crises, can be counted on both to secure and make good on his promises? Trust God in spite of how it may look or feel!
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.