Even faithful Saints at times suffer “reproaches and afflictions” that can shake their confidence (see Hebrews 10:32–38). Paul knew that Jewish converts to Christianity were experiencing serious persecution because of their new faith. To encourage them to stay true to their testimonies, he reminded them of the long tradition of faithful believers from their own history: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Joseph, Moses—“a cloud of witnesses” that God’s promises are real and worth waiting for (Hebrews 12:1). This heritage of faith is shared by all those who look “unto Jesus [as] the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Because of Him, whenever adversity makes us want to “draw back,” we can instead “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22, 38). For us, as for the ancient Saints, Jesus Christ is our “high priest of good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11).
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