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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

CONFIDENCE AND PATIENCE

Hebrews 10:35-36 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Confidence is described as a firm belief, which happens to be the same definition of faith. As used in the lesson text, confidence carries with it the same meaning as faith. Confidence, like faith, is never to be cast away or discarded. Confidence is trust, reliance, assurance, and certainty; so is faith. Although the two words have slightly different meanings in other uses, as used here, by the author of this epistle to the Hebrew Christians, they are interchangeable. Here, in this context, confidence and faith are the same.

Many bible scholars say that confidence, as used in this passage, compares to a shield. As such, confidence serves to shield and protect the Christian against the wiles of the devil. Without a shield the warrior would have little defense against the enemy and would be almost assured of perishing. If confidence is cast away, there is little protection from the evils of the world. It is a rather lengthy quotation, but consider the likeness of confidence to faith in Paul's epistle to the church at Ephesus. He wrote, wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:13-17).

Notice that an essential part of the Christian armor is a shield of faith. Notice also that the use of the shield of faith is to fend off the fiery darts of the wicked. This is exactly the use of the shield of confidence. Combining the two words, the Christian is protected from Satan with a shield of confident faith. Without its protection, we perish - life on earth will be filled with conflict and anguish, and life hereafter will be eternal punishment. With its protection we have a great recompense of reward - peace and joy on earth, and the hope of eternal life in heaven. To keep God's law, ...testimony, ...statutes, ...(and) commandment, andto be in awe of God and His judgments, are to be our greatest desire, because in keeping them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-11).

Not only does it take a confident faith, but it also takes patience to live a Christian life on earth and to endure the trials and temptations that we must face daily. The hope of eternal life is something that we cannot see but, by faith, we know that it awaits those obedient to the will of God. If eternal life were assured, there would be no desire to seek it through obedience - there would be nothing left to hope for. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (See Rom. 8:24-25).James wrote that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:3-4). To wait patiently does not mean that one is to sit idly by and wait for the promised great reward of eternal life.

A confident faith and an abiding patience is needed in every Christian's life, but to receive the promise of heaven, one must also have done the will of God. The apostle, Paul assured us of this promise in his letter to the church at Corinth. To them, and to us today, he says, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). It takes a confident faith to be steadfast and unmovable - to be determined, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. And it takes much patience to labor diligently in the vineyard of the Lord - to preach and teach the gospel message of eternal salvation in Christ to all people within your realm of influence.

The just shall live by faith (Vs. 38 following), is quoted from Habakkuk 2:4 (also see Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11). Its teaching has been true throughout all ages of mankind, and it is certainly true today. In the midst of life's trials and tribulations, all Christians must maintain a confident faith, in order that the work of the Lord might abound. Confident faith and patience are necessary to guide the conduct of mankind in the righteous manner that God requires. The hope of eternal salvation depends on it. Our Savior, Jesus Christ gives this assurance to all obedient Christians: he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matt. 24:13).