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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Patient Endurance

Hebrews 6:13-20    Exodus 1-2    Psalm 40

“Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15). So what does “patient endurance” look like for you and me? Ten minutes instead of five? Ground shipping rather than next-day air??? Today’s texts all have “waiting” in common. Abraham’s children — the people of the promise — live in Egypt long after Joseph and his brothers die. In fact, according to Exodus 12:40, it has been over four centuries! What’s more, God’s promises to Abraham included this information (see Genesis 15:12-15). . . It is fair to say that Abraham is an excellent example of “patient endurance.”

Patience. Endurance. Waiting. Abraham is not the only one. What was it like, do you suppose, for Moses’ mother as she waited for news of her baby in the rushes? And the Hebrews, as they groaned under their slavery? And the psalmist, as he prays, “O Lord, make haste to help me”? (Psalm 40:13). And we mustn’t overlook the believers to whom the letter to the Hebrews is directed. They were wavering. Tired of fighting the pull of the old. Weary of waiting. Ready to give up and return to the old ways. Too. . . much . . . work . . .

Patient endurance isn’t laziness. Nor is it passive. Patient endurance is active. Prayerful. Expectant. Abraham lived his life believing God and expecting the promises to be fulfilled — knowing he would not be alive to see it.  The psalmist is far from passive in the prayer for help that is Psalm 40. Building upon past experience (v.1-5), he makes his case before God (v.6-10), and pleads for help by employing such words as “make haste” and “do not delay” (v.11-17). And Moses’ mother is clearly active in the process of preserving the life of her son!

May we cultivate the disciplines of patience and waiting, following the example of  those who have gone before us! And may we, by God’s grace, endure to the end, trusting God, who hears our cry and keeps every promise and every oath (Exodus 2:24; Hebrews 6:17,18). Amen.

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.”
— Psalm 40:1


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