9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 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. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
“We are confident of better things concerning you.” This is one of my favorite Scripture verses. Right after dropping some hard truth about taking grace for granted, the author lets the audience know that he is not scolding them personally. Rather, he continues on to remind them that God is aware of the ministry that they are doing and that there is a reward awaiting them.
Grace reminds us that God is pleased with us. We don’t work to please Him; we minister from the knowledge that He is already pleased. If we keep that in mind, we are less likely to grow weary in doing well. If we are “working” for God like slaves, then we will tire and burn out. Understanding that we are sons and daughters and are ministering from a place of rest enables us to stay the course.
Verse 12 contains an important key to remaining steadfast. It tells us that promises are inherited by faith and patience. What promise are you waiting to see come alive in your life? Has it been a long wait? Promises aren’t inherited by faith alone. Patience is the partner to faith. We believe, and keep believing, until we see it fully. If you are growing weary, don’t give up. Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit promises.
Abraham was promised a son through Sarah, but he waited 25 years to see Isaac. That doesn’t sound fun, particularly in today’s “instant” culture. Everything moves so quickly, the notion of waiting seems ridiculous. God is not on our cultural timetable, but that doesn’t change the certainty of His word.
We are to find confidence from today’s passage that God’s promises are true. He wanted to be so clear that He even confirmed them with an oath because He understands that “men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.” This knowledge is a source of hope that we have to anchor our souls. Our souls (mind, will and emotions) shouldn’t be tossed about like ships on stormy seas. When I feel unstable in my soul, that is a key sign that I’ve taken my focus off of Jesus.
Verse 19 says something remarkable about this hope. It says that it “enters the Presence behind the veil.” This is a reference to God’s presence in the Holy of Holies. Jesus, our perfect High Priest, has made a way by entering in for us already. Now we have this hope that takes us directly into the presence of our God. Biblical hope is not just a desire for a better outcome. Rooted in Jesus, it takes us straight to the Father. Brave grace today with steadfast determination. Be confident of better things.