But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Comment: The harshness of yesterday’s devotional is not irrelevant and is absolutely true, but the author reminds his readers…
- Of their accepting the truth of this message of Jesus the Messiah, and that they have gone triumphantly through many harsh persecutions – imprisonment, property loss and public ridicule.
- They did it because eternal things last whereas temporal glories and successes are left behind at death.
- He challenges them to endure and don’t lose their confidence in what they believe.
- Jesus will return and in the meantime they are to live by faith. Shrinkers are failures but with strong encouragement the author assures them that his readers are not of that class.
Prayer: Please help me to have the qualities encouraged above.