But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Some strong words of encouragement, written to strengthen the hands and knees of the church in Jerusalem in the midst of persecution. This letter is considered a masterpiece by seasoned theologians, and central to the New Testament.
Friends, with these words as backdrop, I write in the same vein this morning. Faith and Patience are integral if we are to run the race of life effectively. Faith is the seed that opens new possibilities, and patience provides the strength and stamina we need to overcome self-sabotage, and the wiles of the devil.
In this era of speed and instant gratification; faith without patience will only lead to a shipwreck. So in the words of The Rabbi to the same audience my opening excerpt was written to years later;
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.
He said these words and many more as He drew close to His death. A mentor of mine used to say that last words were very important, having lived for a while – I couldn’t agree with him more.