Look up the texts below. What do they all have in common? What should believers hold on to?
Besides having the assurance of salvation, it is important to persevere and uphold the hope offered us all. In Hebrews, to hold fast is a serious appeal. One gets the impression that some believers were slipping away from their Christian faith and hope. The apostle had to encourage them not to let go. The text expresses quite similarly the things that are worth holding onto: hope, confidence, assurance, and confession. All of these terms refer in an objective sense to the Christian belief. We can do these things because our hope isn’t in ourselves but in Jesus and what He has done for us. The moment we forget that crucial truth, we will surely lose confidence.
These texts challenge us to be steadfast from the “beginning” (Heb. 3:14) and “until the end” (Heb. 3:6, Heb 3:14; Heb 6:11). To do so “without wavering” (Heb. 10:23, NKJV) refers to an immutable and unshaken faith. Whatever the circumstance may be, our hope remains the same, our commitment to God is unchanged, because we can trust that He is faithful and will do what He has promised.
There is no question that God is true to His Word. He fulfilled the promise that He had made to Abraham and Sarah (see also Rom. 4:19–21); He fulfilled the promise of Christ’s first coming (Gal. 3:19); and He will also fulfill the promise of His return (Heb. 12:26). God’s ultimate promise, however, is eternal life, which He promised even before time began (Titus 1:2, 1 John 2:25).
God’s faithfulness is immovable. Even “if we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13, NASB). Our unfaithfulness or disbelief will not change God’s intention for us. His promises remain unshaken by our moral lapses. The promises will still be available for us because faithfulness is part of the divine nature.
It is so easy to get discouraged because of our sins. How can we overcome those sins, and yet, at the same time, not give up when we fail? Why must we cling to these promises, especially when we fail?