The writer of Hebrews is paraphrasing Habakkuk 2:3-4 in this passage. He’s stressing that our spiritual walk is made up of constant, focused, decisions to trust and obey the Lord…even when we can’t see change. He warns us against retreating or drawing back from trials simply out of fear. If you’re in the middle of a storm today, don’t allow fear to rule your life…don’t hesitate when apprehension rises in your throat…rather make a conscious decision to listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit and walk by faith.
I’ll be the first to admit…I’m not a patient person. But patience is exactly what God wants from me. He asks that I steadfastly pray for unsaved loved ones…even if I don’t see change. He asks that I not give up on dreams He’s given me…even if it’s been years. God only asks that I be patient in my faith…unwavering in my trust of Him, as He works towards His divine purpose in my life. For if you think about it, it’s very little He’s asking.
As human beings, we have to learn some things the hard way. Growing up, we think of ourselves as invincible. We take crazy chances. We egg each other on…double dog daring…and sometimes paying for that foolishness. So as grown adults, we should have gained some wisdom and good judgment by now. But how many people do we see that just haven’t learned that lesson? Risky behaviors will eventually catch up with everyone…for no one is exempt.
Words can cut deep…and if they’re deceitful on top of that, they’re deadly. Why then do we choose to lie? It’s simple, if the truth doesn’t serve us well – we lie. If we want to get back at someone we dislike – we’ll lie. If we want our way – we sweet talk and flatter…saying what we know the other person wants to hear. Lying can become a way of life – where no two stories are ever the same, and we say whatever will get us the results we desire.
According to the dictionary, the word sluggard means a slow or lazy person. But the term lazy can mean much more than just not wanting to work. We may be a sluggard towards daily time in God’s Word…preferring rather to mindlessly scroll our phones. We may be a lax sluggard, who acknowledges God’s plan and purpose in our lives…but prefers the comfort of our recliner and Media Center more. A sluggard is doomed to poverty so the Proverb says…destitute in both material and spiritual things.
In God’s perfect plan, not one human-being would experience Hell and eternal death. But He’s also not sitting up in heaven with a big sledge hammer, relishing the thought of punishing sinners. Quite the opposite, for in II Peter 3:9 it says, “The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Our Lord is graciously waiting for all to turn to Him…but we have to make the first move…not only admitting our sin, but accepting responsibility and confessing… we need You, Lord.
Even though the Disciples had lived, traveled, and witnessed miracles by Jesus – this was now becoming tough times. Jesus was gone, they were on their own, and preaching the Good News was becoming more and more difficult. They had been thrown into jail…again, when an angel broke them out. But rather than telling them to flee for their lives, he commanded them to go right back to the Temple and speak. How many of us would have the same kind of boldness and courage to go right back into enemy territory? They realized the life-giving Word they preached overshadowed the momentary fear they felt.