THIS IS GOING TO TAKE AWHILE: We have watched so many dramas unfold on TV or in movies that we've come to expect all problems to be solved in 44 minutes or less. But, of course life in general doesn't work that way, especially when we look at it through the lens of Biblical Christianity. While it's certainly possible that Christ will return later today, it's far more likely that we have a long road to walk before all things are made new.
Look at the kinds of encouragements you are given in Hebrews 13; each command has a long term, ongoing aspect to it:
Keep on loving (v1)
Do not forget to show hospitality (v2)
Continue to remember (v3)
Keep your lives free (v5)
Remember your leaders (v7)
Do not be carried away (v9)
Continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise (v15)
Do not forget to do good (v16)
Have confidence (v17)
Pray for us (v18)
YOU CAN WAIT BECAUSE OF WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE PROMISES: If Christianity was just about waiting things out and hoping it will get better some day, it would be a depressing thing. But Hebrews 13 encourages you to carry on based on an unchanging God who has done great things and promises even better things. Memorize these verses:
13:5b - Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
13:14 - For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
FINALLY, A BOOK THAT RESOLVES: This is the third book we've finished now. The first two, the Gospel According to Mark, and the Acts of the Apostles, seemed to finish before the story was all the way over. This was in part because they were narrative books telling a story that's not yet finished. Hebrews, on the other hand, ends with a bang. Notice how the benediction (bene = good, diction = words) fits the AAA model of prayer Jesus gave us:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of peace who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep (v20).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will equip you with everything good for doing His will, and that He will work in you what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ (v21a).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Ask God to give you what you need in order to live in a way that glorifies Christ for ever and ever (v21b).
Check out the first course in the Worthington CRC Lifelong Learning program:
The videos are only 5 minutes long and include interactive discussion questions.