In Hebrews 10:23 we read, “And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy.”
In addition to drawing near to God we must hold fast to our hope. We see the need for the call to hold fast exemplified in the Old Testament, where many of the Hebrews who left Egypt, quickly returned in their hearts to Egypt. The writer is issuing this exhortation to encourage the Jewish readers who are wavering to keep following Jesus and not return to the Law and the Old Covenant rituals.
Biblical hope is always being able to look forward and to do so with confidence because our hope is anchored in the Person and promises of God (see Hebrews 6:19). Hope as the world typically defines it is a desire for some future occurrence of which there is no assurance of attaining. The ancient world did not generally regard hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion. Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world. Philosophies were empty, traditions were disappearing, religions were powerless to help people face either life or death. People longed to receive some message of hope, but there is no hope outside of Jesus Christ. He alone holds the future in His hands, and He alone can enable His followers to navigate through whatever life brings and preserve the protect us until we obtain what He has promised.
If holding onto our hope is of absolute necessity; if someone is going to persevere and prevail, then how do we hold onto it? It starts with a lifestyle of drawing near which is why this exhortation came first.
But another piece to our clinging to hope is also found in verse 23. It is living a lifestyle of confession. It is living our faith out loud and publicly. It is openly and unashamedly acknowledging Jesus in all that we say and all that we do. Our commitment to what we say we believe is seen in our willingness to confess it before others. Our confidence in what we say we believe is also seen in our willingness to confess it before others. Unwillingness to confess leads to denial as we recall from the life of Peter. Please read Luke 22:54-62.
Note, first, the proximity of Peter to Jesus at this moment. Luke records, “Peter was following at a distance” (Luke 22:54). He was not following Jesus closely; he had moved away from Jesus, distancing himself. When we walk at a distance from Jesus, our confession will be weak, and our hope will be waning.
In addition to walking at a distance, Peter also failed to heed the Lord’s exhortation to watch and pray. Please read Luke 22:39-46. Prayer prepares us for the road ahead no matter how steep or challenging. He and the other disciples failed to watch and pray which led to their spiritual failure and weakening of hope.
Our battle to remain hopeful begins in our minds. Therefore, Paul refers to hope as our spiritual helmet in 1 Thessalonians 5:8. Our thoughts must remain riveted upon our hope. So, let’s fill our thinking and our minds with the right things and quickly dismiss the negative thoughts when they enter our minds. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is pure, whatever is worth of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).