Our author is subtly easing the recipients of this letter into the subject of faith. Faith is vital for every day, but it is especially so during times of adversity. We will talk more about faith as we move into chapter 11. However, one aspect of faith that is brought out in Hebrews 10:32 is the look back. Faith not only looks forward; it also looks backward. So, the author exhorts the readers, “but remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened.” “Remember” carries the idea of carefully thinking back and reconstructing something in one’s mind, not merely remembering. It is more forceful and impactful than simply recalling something. This command to remember is in the present tense which means that this must become our continual habit or way of life. Over and over, and one by one, we are to consider and contemplate former events that God brought us through. Whether they are examples of fulfilled promises, answered prayers, miraculous deliverances, or providential circumstances. Any and all of these can provide encouragement and inspiration in our present situation or struggle.
Paul said to the Galatians, “You were running well; who prevented you from obeying truth?” So many Christians start off well in their walk with God, but do not finish well. Dear friends, we not only want to begin well, we want to end well too. Here the writer of Hebrews says that a major component of finishing well is to remember well. And so, the writer seeks to remind them to manifest the love and commitment they had exhibited when they first fell in love with Jesus.
These first century Jews endured so much adversity, opposition, ridicule, and persecution when they first came to Christ. And yet, through it all, the author reminds them how they endured. This was a historical reality that they could look back on and be encouraged by. What about you? What incidents or examples of difficult days has God’s sufficient grace brought you through? God has brought us through so much in our past and He will certainly bring us through these days as well. With God we will prevail. King David wrote, “whenever I remember you on my bed, and think about you during the nighttime hours. For you are my deliverer; under your wings I rejoice. My soul pursues you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:6-8). David was experiencing great distress when he wrote these words. But what kept him grounded and kept him going was remembering His God. Concentrating on God’s faithfulness reduces stress and produces praise. Let’s remember our God today and every day!