Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Today's thought “You have need of …” (December 3 2013)

“You have need of …”

(December 3)

Is there anyone who thinks they do not need anything? With Christmas in 3 weeks’ time, the younger ones especially are thinking of the things they need and that it would be good to receive!
Our readings today in Hebrews say, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (10:36). Are you enduring?
We live in a world, at least in this country that is very impatient. It is said, this is the ‘NOW’ generation. Until recently it was easy (and still is to some extent) to get what you want ‘NOW’ – and pay later. The folly of living beyond ones’ income is becoming more evident. Some countries, especially in Europe, are learning this and are having to endure the pain of austerity.
But the Letter to Hebrews is about something entirely different. Paul tells them, “do not throw away your confidence which has great reward” (verse 35). We throw or give away the things we do not need!
But confidence? What do you and I have confidence in? Do we have confidence in God’s knowledge and oversight in all that happens as a result of the “freewill” he allows? What confidence do we have in what will happen in the future! God has oversight of that and can intervene as he chooses, as our readings frequently reveal; often we puzzle to know more exactly what they are alluding to (Zechariah 12:1-3 being an example in the light of Middle East events now) and in recent years.
We saw lessons illustrating his oversight in individual lives in our readings in Job and Jonah; both men had, at least temporarily, lost sight of the will of God working out a pathway in their lives. Are we any better? But if we really commit ourselves to be children of God and more and more live for him in faith – then we will sense more clearly His purpose in the things he allows (or causes) to happen in our own lives and in the world.
Take special notice of how Hebrews chapter 10 ends, “my righteous one shall (aim to) live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him (or her). But we are notof those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (verses 38,39). Wise men have written about ‘the power of positive thinking’ but Hebrews reminds us of the words of Jesus himself, “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:14). Let us try harder to see the “need of endurance” and put what we see into practice.