What do you do when it seems like God isn't coming though for you? What do you do when being a Christian means life gets worse not better? Especially when you aren't seeing day to day evidences of God being at work?
Do you give up? Or do you press on? If the latter, why? Doesn't that just seem like pouring good after bad, if you can't see it making any practical difference?
The writer has taken some time out of his main argument to encourage his original hearers to press on. It seems in 6:11-12 that they were asking some of these very questions. "we loved God and did things for him in the past, but He doesn't seem to be working for us. Why continue?"
The answer goes like this:
1. You know Abraham received promises from God, but he had to wait a long time for their fulfilment
2. How did he keep going in the intervening time when it seemed like it was pointless?
3. He relied on God's promise, which was unshakeable when he himself was feeling very shaky.
4. The promise was unshakeable not only because it was God who made it, but also because God swore an oath, binding himself over as guarantor
5. Therefore in the intervening time Abraham could be encouraged that it would happen, because it was anchored in God
6. You have exactly the same kind of level of promise about Jesus being your rescuing high priest that Abraham had about Isaac. God has promised and has sworn himself over as guarantor (7:17 & 20)
7. Therefore just as Abraham trusted over the long period and console himself by fleeing to God's promise, so should we
In fact that is precisely what he says: God did this so that...we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure
In 2 Cor. 1:20 Paul says that all the promises of God are YES to us in Jesus. The question Hebrews poses is whether I believe that today:
- Are there promises God has made to me in Jesus that I am not trusting?
- Are there promises God has made to me in Jesus that I am not wanting, or am saying no to?
- Are there shaky areas of my life, where I am tempted to not press on with Jesus, in which what I need to do is trust the promise?
- Are there areas of my life where I think God isn't delivering, where what I need to do is to take hope in the fact that although he hasn't done yet, nevertheless he will because he has promised it?