by Ron Dunn

Waiting for the Promise
Ron Dunn
Hebrews 10:32-39

''Bible promises,'' said Spurgeon, ''are checks drawn on Heaven's Bank that we endorse with faith and present to God for payment.

True-but sometimes the checks are postdated! It's upsetting to find that God doesn't operate according to our time schedule. Assuming God will respond immediately to our prayers, we rise from our knees expecting to find the answer waiting for us. But more often than not, there is a waiting period between the asking and the receiving. And this presents a problem to twentieth century believers. In these days of instant coffee and instant credit we have a low tolerance for delay. ''Tomorrow,'' says Eric Hoffer, ''has become a dirty word.''

The interim between asking and receiving is a precarious time for believers. Our faith droops, our feelings sell out to the enemy and doubt unpacks its suitcase for an extended visit.

C. S. Lewis said, ''Faith is the art of holding on to things your reasons once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.'' When everything we once easily believed suddenly seems improbable and illogical, it is this ''hanging-on'' faith that holds us on course and keeps us anchored to the unfailing promises of God.

The 10th chapter of Hebrews deals with this ''hanging-on'' faith and shows us how to wait for the promise. The Christians to whom the author wrote were facing persecution so severe their faith was threatened with collapse. Some were even talking of defecting. To shore up the walls of their collapsing faith and to enable them to emerge from this trial, the author reminds them of their previous trials and how they overcame them. He speaks of a ''great reward'' (v. 35) and of receiving ''what was promised'' (v. 36). The entire passage dovetails into the last phrase in verse 36; that is the end toward which everything moves: ''that you may receive what was promised.'' He is telling them what they must do if they are to receive what was promised.

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