Speaking from personal experience, it’s a great feeling of encouragement and contentment when you contribute funds and/or other material things to a ministry that puts them to good use to render positive results for God’s glory. That’s what the believing Jews experienced when they partnered financially with Paul in his ministry. As Paul highlights in Hebrews, they did it joyfully with confidence and patience having the correct intent in mind.
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
These Jewish believers gave of their material goods in this world knowing God had much better and everlasting treasures in store for them in heaven, including eternal life and reigning with Christ. It was that knowledge prompting them to want to make positive sacrifices and contributions here on Earth. When you’re heavenly-minded it makes you want to do a lot of earthly good like Jesus did.
Being aware of their motivations led Paul to urge them to hold on to their confidence and their need for patience, valuable tools in the arsenal of good soldiers for Christ. They bring great reward and help us move forward on the path to receive God’s promise of eternal life. But, of course, all those principles only come to fruition for us after we do the will of God, which is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 6:40). Paul’s words also serve as encouragement for us Christians today for several reasons:
- We still have plenty of spiritual battles ahead of us. Confidence and patience are needed to keep us focused when we face our foes.
- We still have trials of life left to walk through. Disappointments, troubles, and sorrows are inevitable. When we have confidence and patience we know God will be with us to help us get through them, no matter how long it may take.
- We haven’t reached our ultimate goal yet. Our spiritual state in this life, regardless of the level of spiritual maturity we attain, is still imperfect and incomplete. So when we have to trudge slowly through life day-by-day, confidence and patience are necessary to remind us the mundane routines of life will ultimately give way to our eternal, heavenly reward and help encourage us to serve God (especially as we joyfully share with others) while we wait.