Hebrews 10:34-39, For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Commending their service to the Lord, the author encourages his hearers to continue in their confidence because of the great reward they have in Christ by faith. The “better possession… an abiding one” is their great reward, which is also the reception of what was promised to them, which they shall receive upon Christ’s return. The Scripture the author quotes from is a paraphrase of Habakkuk 2:3-4, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
This Word is for us, too. We engage in multiple ministries, such as prison ministry, homeless ministry, addict ministry, Hispanic ministry, and so on—perhaps facing some persecution in the process—because of the confidence we have in Jesus Christ, the coming one. The due reward for our faith is life—life when Christ returns. Remember, however, that this faith is first and foremost a gift from the Holy Spirit, not something we acquired ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). We might receive a reward for our faith, but this is not due to our deserving it through our works, but merely as a gift deserved through the work of Christ in His life, suffering, death, and resurrection.
Ministry can be exhausting at times. Indeed, it tries the soul. Ministry, no matter the focus, is no easy task. It is easy to shrink back and give up, especially when things get difficult. However, let us take courage from the author’s words here. Do not throw away your confidence. Like these Hebrew Christians, you also know of the better possession you have in Christ, an abiding one. Do not forget the reason for why you started in ministry in the first place. This Word is as much for me as it is for you. Though I am still only preparing for my future ministry, I grow exhausted at times and become tempted with thoughts of shrinking back, giving up, and doing something else with my life. Do not let the seed die; continue watering it with the Word and remember the reason for which you set out for ministry in the first place—the gentle caring of souls in Jesus Christ our Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit.