These are uncertain times. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. That’s always true, but especially so in a day where you don’t know when travel restrictions and isolation requirements will change. It’s true as the numbers rise for those who are sick, dying, or dead. It’s true as jobs are affected. We don’t know how COVID-19 will play out over the next several weeks and months. In times of uncertainty and instability, what can we know for sure? Where do we anchor. ourselves when we feel tossed by wave after wave?
Hebrews 6:13-20 directs us to Christ as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. He is firm and steady when life isn’t. When a storm hits, we can run to him as our refuge (6:18). We find solace, rest, and protection from the storm by hiding in him. We also have the promises that God’s promises and purposes will still come to pass. He does make promises and break them. He does not make good plans for us and then they get redirected by worldly circumstances.
This text allows us to see behind the curtain a bit. The reason we can hold fast in hope, the reason we can endure in faith, is because of anything in us or because things are easy in this world. Our reason is found in God, the one who makes and keeps his promises to us, the one who has good plans for us in all things, the faithful one who sustains our faith like he did Abraham’s, the refuge we can run to, and a steady anchor that holds us in place. The peace and strength you’re looking for today isn’t found on the news or on WebMD; it’s found by looking to Jesus.
Study, Reflection, and Discussion Questions
- In 6:13-18, does Abraham inherit the promises because God is faithful to his promises and purposes or because Abraham patiently waited by faith, or both? Why? What might we learn from this example about how God’s promises and purposes to keep us work with how he preserves us through our faith and endurance?
- In 6:9-20, what are seven encouragements God will cause us to persevere or that give assurance we will persevere by Christ’s power and help?
- Read 6:12, 13-15; 11:39-12:2; 13:7. Why are godly examples significant for our growth and endurance in the Christian life? Who are models you look up to and follow as they follow Christ?
- Read Gen. 22:17 and Heb. 11:1-3, 8-12, 17-19. How does Abraham model for us a patient faith that waits on God’s promises? How does this help us endure and hold fast during trials? What promises are you waiting on right now that you need patience and endurance for?
- How are God’s unalterable promises (Word) to us and his unchanging purposes for us the foundation for perseverance, the grounds of our assurance, and a sure anchor and “strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” (6:18)?
- Jesus is our hope, forerunner, and eternal king-high priest in “the inner place behind the curtain” (6:19). For those who have fled to him for refuge (6:18), how does this provide encouragement and assurance?
For Further Study
- Trusting God: Ps. 9:10; 28:7; 37:4-6; 37:5; 56:3; 112:7; Prov. 3:5-6; Jer. 17:7-8; Matt. 6:25; John 14:1
- God as Refuge: Ps. 31:20; 46:1-11; 34:8; 91:1-2; Prov. 14:26; 18:10; Is. 25:4; Jer. 16:19
Additional Thoughts or Quotes
“Since God’s unalterable promise was the foundation of Abraham’s patient endurance, the same should be true for the readers of the letter. Any doubt about being inheritors of the promise should be removed, for what God has pledged will certainly be fulfilled. The verb “guaranteed” (ἐμεσίτευσεν) signifies that God as mediator pledges to fulfill his promise. 319 God’s oath is accompanied by an action that secures what he has promised. The author suggests in using the language of mediator Jesus’ role as “mediator” (μεσίτης, 8: 6; 9: 15; 12: 24) of what God has promised so the oath is ultimately grounded and fulfilled in Jesus’ atonement. 320 Hence he is the “guarantee” (ἔγγυος) of the new covenant (7: 22). The readers need not fear that the promise would fail, for it is grounded in God’s oath and Jesus’ atoning work that secures what God has sworn.” Thomas Schreiner, Hebrews