The Doctrine of Suffering: Hebrews 10:32-39
“32) But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33) partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34) For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35) Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36) For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37) For yet in a very little while, He who is coming 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. 39) But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭
Never ever quit! God remembers every good thing you have done for Him. The rewarding clock does not reset to zero every time you stumble. He knows your struggles and your suffering on His behalf. Much spiritual growth comes in the valley of struggles and suffering. The New Testament develops a very clear doctrine of suffering.
This text concludes that every Christian needs endurance. Your faith will be tested. Do not throw away your confidence nor your faith in God when the chips are down and the going gets difficult. Remember, “the just shall live by faith.”
It is at this point that I must issue a warning: becoming a Christian is not a ticket to an easy and trouble free life. It does not mean you will automatically become healthy, wealthy and prosperous. In fact, becoming a God follower will put a target on you.
Many through the centuries have suffered much pain, sorrow, affliction and persecution because of their faith in God. Some have lost jobs, homes and even their lives because they were Christians. The foot prints of Jesus leads through the valley of suffering.
Notice, these verses are the introduction to the greatest chapter in the Bible about the Old Testament saints who lived a life of faith. Every one of them endured much suffering because of their faith in God, yet they persevered and become overcomes. This is the context of Hebrews 10:32-39.
This is the inherent danger and deception of the modern prosperity gospel. God is not a genie in a bottle that answers our every wish and feeds our greed. We exist for God, He is not a slave of our passions.
Hebrews 10-12 must be studied together. They prepare believers to walk through the valley of suffering and hardship. This world is not our home, we are pilgrims passing through. Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20-21)
The book of Hebrews was written to suffering and persecuted Christians. It contributes much to the doctrine of suffering. You would do well to study these verses through the lens of suffering for your faith.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global