In light of the author reminding the recipients of this letter of their past endurance in the face of harsh persecution, we read these words, “so do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35).
It would not only be tragic for the readers to throw away their confidence at this point, it does not even make good sense. There was a time somewhere in their past where they realized the things they were putting their confidence in was not producing confidence. It was only when they willingly embraced Christ fully that their lives were filled with confidence. So now to turn their backs on the one thing, or in this case, the one person who brought such confidence would be irrational. But let’s face it, when we are under extreme pressure even as Christ followers we can make some pretty irrational and crazy choices. This is why we all must continually press on to spiritual maturity as our writer exhorted us to do in Hebrews 6:1. “Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity.” The more grounded we are spiritually, the more our lives are saturated in Christ; the less likely we are to crack under pressure when the pressure starts to build.
These first century Jewish Christians who had endured so much for Christ in the past were now in a panic and were about to stampede away from Christ and the confidence that He alone could give. They were in peril of rejecting Christ and the one true source of confidence in their lives because of the intense afflictions that were cast upon them.
Our confidence as Christians is so precious and vital to us. Times of difficulty, especially extreme difficulty, are opportunities for us to renew our confidence in Jesus, not reject Him. We need the encouragement of others during these times to keep trusting, keep believing. And we need to encourage others around us to do the same. Thinking something else or someone else can give us confidence like Jesus can is only an illusion. It is a spiritual “mirage” created by the master deceiver. Only faith in Christ anchors our soul (Hebrews 6:19). To throw away our confidence now is to miss the reward that is just around the bed. “Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12)!
Patient endurance is a moment by moment, step by step quality of living that only exists and is evident through our lives as we rely upon the Spirit of God within us. It is the fourth fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Our author has already stated that we inherit the promises of God “through faith and perseverance (Hebrews 6:12).
This “great reward” the author mentions in 10:35 is not just for now. It is for all of eternity. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way: (Matthew 5:11-12).
Our confidence in Jesus provides the strength to persevere through times of adversity “so do not throw away your confidence.”