32But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37For,
"Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him."
39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
After the author of Hebrews reminds his audience that they are to fear the living Lord God and to remember that sin is not to be taken lightly he now goes on to remind them about how they've endured hard things for God. He reminds them of their confidence, their compassion and their joy.
What they need now is some endurance. Endurance to finish what God has placed in front of us. God doesn't want us to shrink back from what he allows in our lives, but simply continue on. Confident in our salvation, joyful in challenges.
I have to admit...these words from verse 33 caught my attention: "sometimes being partners with those so treated".
This week I went over the Holly's site, while there I learned about a ministry that a young lady is involved with over in Uganda. Since then I've been thinking and praying for that ministry. This young lady works hard physically and emotionally with a bunch of girls, hopefully showing them the reality of who God is. It's not an easy job.
In doing so....I hopefully make their load a little lighter, and hopefully encourage them even though they know me not. God knows, and as part of a larger family we have to care, it's part of what families do. Let's remember that we are partners. We do share in what happens with our fellow believers. let's keep on praying! (and acting as God so leads).