The book of Hebrews was written to believers who were spiritually tired and needed encouragement to keep going. The following post is adapted from Kathy’s new devotional book “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Hebrews.

My husband and I enjoy spending time on St John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. However, getting there is not easy. It requires planes, taxis, and a ferry. But weary travelers are rewarded with incredible beauty and the peace that comes from smaller crowds. We wanted to share our favorite island paradise with our kids and grandkids, so a few years ago we arranged a family trip. Our group of thirteen ranged in age from almost three to sixty-three.

They exhibited a lot of excitement on the first leg of the trip. But by the time we changed planes in Miami, then landed in St. Thomas, where we endured a long wait for our luggage even the most travel-hardy among us were weary. And of course, the little ones just wanted it to be over. Wayne and I tried to energize them with descriptions of the sunsets and stories about our favorite beaches and snorkeling trips. While our efforts didn’t accomplish a complete makeover, it did bolster them enough to finish the journey. By the end of the vacation they all declared they would do it again!

The Hebrew Christians were Spiritually Tired

The Jewish Christians who first received the letter we know today as “Hebrews” were “road weary.” Following Jesus had led them into some painful, difficult places. Although they had not yet died for their faith, they had endured public reproach, imprisonment, and the confiscation of their property. Due to this persecution, they were considering abandoning their faith in Jesus and returning to Judaism. So the author of Hebrews harshly warned them that if they rejected Jesus they would not find salvation in the Jewish faith (Hebrews 10:26-31). The Law of Moses only revealed sin, it could not cleanse it.  (Also see “3 Reasons to Read and Study Hebrews.” and “10 Characteristics of Faith from the Hall of Faith.”)

Then the author followed the warning with an exhortation to hold onto their faith in Christ. He asked them to remember what they’d already endured and urged them to keep an eternal focus. He also encouraged them to patience. God might seem slow to deliver, but if they persevered, the Messiah would return and bring justice. The earthly hardships would soon pass, but the spiritual benefits would last forever.

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. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

We can Experience Joy in Suffering

The author also reminded them of their joy in the face of past suffering (Hebrews 10:34). Although seemingly counterintuitive, we see this spiritual principle throughout Scripture. For instance, Peter described suffering for Christ as a blessing and privilege because the “Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14). Persecution in this life for the name of Christ makes us partners with Him in His suffering and means we will share in His glory in the life to come (1 Peter 4:13). 

Like these first century Jewish Christians, too often our fear of persecution outweighs our joy of anticipation. But we must not become discouraged and turn back. Suffering is temporary, but the reward is eternal. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and our focus on eternity. One day our temporary suffering will yield to unimaginable blessing. 

Does the promise of Jesus’ return impact your daily life? What can you do to foster an eager expectation of His appearing?

This post was adapted from Kathy’s new devotional boo“Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Hebrews.”

More about “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Hebrews”

Are you spiritually exhausted? Following Jesus can be hard. Discouragement, difficulties, and defeat often wear us down. So, why bother? The book of Hebrews answers that question. This 40-day devotional journey provides encouragement to run our race of faith with endurance and reminds us that our Savior is far superior to anything and everything the world can offer.

Like the rest of thDeep Rooted devotional series, the Hebrews volume uses the 4-R Bible study framework to help you learn how to interact with and respond to Scripture, not simply read it. These meaty, daily devotions will increase your hunger for God’s Word, encourage spiritual growth and stability, and lay the groundwork for a life-long, spiritually-healthy habit. 


(See “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Hebrews” on Amazon.)

Titus Bible Study

Join Kathy's mailing list to receive a free mini Bible study on the book of Titus.

Success! Check your inbox for the download link.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This