THE GREAT REWARD OF HAVING FAITH
(Thursday, December 28)
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebr 10:35-39)
There is “great reward,” for not casting away our confidence. Our confidence is in the Great Fact that God *is*. And He is good. He is not an absent father, but One Who suits up and shows up, time and again, as we celebrate in this season of Theophanies, i.e., of His appearance to us in Bethlehem and His coming out to be baptized in the river Jordan. He is invariably the One “who is coming,” and He will come and will not tarry; He will come into any of our unhealed or unresolved difficulties, internal or external, as He always has.
Sometimes, the negative voices in our heads or in our midst want to drag us down, so that we lose our trust in God and in our own eternal value and importance to Him, and slip into wasting time on loneliness, self-centered fear, complacency, indifference to our own vocation, as if it doesn’t matter, etc.
“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition,” the author of Hebrews reminds us in today’s Epistle-reading, “but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” It matters, my friends, that we have faith, that we nourish our faith, and that we emanate it to those around us. Through our faith and hope and communion with our good God, we change and re-vitalize our world, with God’s grace. And we do, as we live and breathe in faith, experience the “great reward” of changing our world, as we change ourselves daily, replacing fear and complacency with faith. But if we allow ourselves to embrace and emanate the opposite kinds of energies, like hopelessness, complacency, etc., we not only waste our own precious, God-given time, but we also begin to infect others with our negativity. This morning, let me let God into my heart, as I engage in some heartfelt prayer, and let me put one foot in front of the other and do what I need to do today, according to my responsibilities, with which He dignifies me. “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and with Your governing Spirit establish me.” (Ps 50:12)