“And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words” (Heb. 13:22)
This verse clearly declares the major thrust of the book of Hebrews; that is, to exhort or encourage. All of God’s people need strengthening and encouraging. This life for the child of God is filled with struggles (cf. Acts 14:22) and pressures (cf. 1 Thess. 3:4). Nevertheless, the victory is on the side of the Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 15:57). Consider three passages from the book of Hebrews that provides great courage for the Christian.
- Hebrews 2:18: Sympathetic toward Needs. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18). These words close out a paragraph and a section that turns the attention of the reader to understand that God’s Son knows what Christians face. Though Jesus is the Son of God (cf. Heb. 1), he is also a partaker of “flesh and blood” (Heb. 2:14). Anyone who struggles with any problem can find strength in a kindred spirit. It is truly important to know that one is not suffering alone when it might appear that no one understands. People who struggle with diseases often look to those who have faced similar circumstances. People who struggle with loss often look up to those who have overcome similar loss. Those who are comforted of God can truly “be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1:4).
- Hebrews 4:16: Supplier of Help. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). This conclusion is drawn from the facts about the high priesthood of Christ. The context states, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:14-15). Access to the throne of grace is made possible through Christ, the Christian’s high priest. While helpers may be limited in the resources and knowledge of things in this world, such is not the case with Christ, who is in heaven. Needs are met through Christ. Paul exhorted this same fact to the Philippians, where he wrote, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
- Hebrews 13:5: Steadfastly with the Faithful. “Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Material riches and the like are futile to bring stability and peace of mind (cf. Eccl. 2). Treasures laid up in heaven are incorruptible (cf. Matt. 6:20) and profitable (cf. 1 Tim. 6:17-19). Whether one has or does not have, being a faithful Christian will always have the abiding care of God. His omnipresence is always there (cf. Ps. 139:7-10). Moses exhorted the Israelites with the same words as found in Hebrews 13:5 (cf. Deut. 31:6). After the death of Moses, the Lord encouraged Joshua with the same words (cf. Joshua 1:5). Both Old and New Testaments affirm that the Lord is faithful to his promises and such is truly strengthening and encouraging.