But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.As Believers, we have every reason to be confident. We don't need to fear -- among other things -- looking foolish ("being made a spectacle"), being criticized ("reproaches"), facing hardships ("tribulations"), or losing possessions ("the seizure of your property"). We can look back at God's past faithfulness, and we can cling to His promise of future faithfulness. In those moments when thoughts of discouragement, doubt, frustration, fear, despair, etc. threaten to take over our outlook, we have every reason to confidently silence those thoughts, knowing the One who is guiding us is faithful. We have an enemy who seeks to "steal, kill, and destroy..." Don't let him steal, kill, or destroy your confidence. Don't let him cause you to shrink back. OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL. He IS our confidence. Cling to that truth, and in it, find what you need to ENDURE.
For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
I say this to remind myself as much as anyone.