I fell a little behind in my reading over the weekend. This morning I've had some time to catch up. Once again a group of passages has caught my attention and seemed to be red flagged for me. It's Hebrews 6:13:19. I'm still reading in the Message:
"When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it up to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, 'I promise that I'll bless you with everything I have--bless and bless and bless!' Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock solid guarantee--God can't break his word. And because his word can not change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God...." ~~The Message by Eugene Peterson
I like the promised blessings mentioned here, but that is not what hit me while reading this. I've never questioned that God has promised to bless our lives. I've not felt those blessings at times or I wondered when those blessings will come. (Anyone can tell you patience is not one of my strong points.) What struck me was "Abraham stuck it out..." That made me think back over the stories of Abraham's life. Yes he definitely "stuck it out"! God made a promise to him and it took almost a lifetime for that promise to be totally fulfilled and though Abraham "stuck it out" he did not do so with total grace. Abraham made some big blunders during the course of his life. There were times when you have to question how much he really trusted God and his promises. How much he really trusted God to care for him. Not only once, but twice he passed his wife off as his sister out of fear of losing his life to a King or Pharaoh. He didn't learn lessons about trusting God in all things very well. This struck a note of familiarity with my life. Yet, Abraham the writer of Hebrews says "...stuck it out and got everything promised to him."
Here is today's lesson for me. Stick it out! Trust God and his promises. Most importantly when I fail: When out of weakness, loneliness, or fear I fail to trust God and his promises, don't be so hard on myself. Always when I go back to God asking his forgiveness and help in being more patient, more trusting, and more faithful he will be there. Abraham was judged faithful despite his failings. I pray that at the end of my life when I approach God's throne I to will be found faithful.