The Hebrew Christians were told, “for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in Heaven.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:” (Hebrews 10:34-36).
Although we may not experience the same exact set of circumstances as our Hebrew brothers and sisters did, we still need to be reminded of the difference in the material rewards of earth and the Heavenly reward that God has in store for His people. There may be times when we experience things that cause us to question Christianity and our faith in “the faith” (Galatians 2:16; Jude vs.3) and our lives feel one big car wreck. After all, the reason the Hebrew letter was written was because there were Christians who were considering leaving the faith of Jesus for the old ways of Judaism due to Christianity’s growing unpopularity. The letter’s message is that when it comes to God’s dealings with His people it does not get any better than Jesus. Read Hebrews 1 and then look up how many times the word “better” is used throughout the entire letter.
Life may not always seem to be fair even though we strive to do the good that pleases God. But we must remember that God’s people are not always rewarded here on earth just as the evil of others is not always repaid in this life either (just read Psalm 73 for a powerful inspired thought on these two sentences).
Now back to the reward of faithfulness and its lesson for us. Take Abel’s faith for example! Abel just so happens to be the first person mentioned in the very next chapter of Hebrews (which has been labeled by many as “the hall of the faithful”). Keep Abel in mind and his faithfulness to God’s word and will and think about these questions for a moment:
What happened to Abel because of his faithfulness? What worldly reward did Abel receive? How did Abel profit materially because of the sacrifice he made to God? How peaceful did Abel’s life become because of his faithfulness? Yet we are still called to listen to his example because it still speaks of a reward…just not an earthly one!
Abel’s reward was a Heavenly reward and it’s the same reward we are encouraged to keep in mind as God’s people (Hebrews 11:4). Stay faithful. EA