For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (ESV)The logic of this verse is unmistakable. In order to receive what is promised you must do the will of God and in order to do the will of God you will need to endure. So what is the will of God and why does it require endurance?
The best answer to the first part of the question comes from the text around Hebrews 10:36. Look first at 10:24, “consider how to stir one another up in love and good deeds [good works in the Greek].” Being loving and doing good works is the will of God. Now look down at verse 32-34 to see why love and good works requires endurance:
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. (Hebrews 10:32:34 ESV)So here we see an example of where love and good works requires endurance because love and good works often consists of “a hard struggle with sufferings.” Note again the connection between the enduring and the reward, “since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession.”
Our greatest need in this life is to endure in love and good deeds. If we do this we have at least two promises we can trust in. First, Jesus will sustain us and second we will someday have true rest from our labors.
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:10-11 ESV)
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:12-13 ESV)Tomorrow (or soon) I hope to show how Jesus taught his disciples to endure in love and good deeds from Mark 6.
Above: I took this photo while climbing the Manitou Incline with Isaiah last summer. Consider the caterpillar climbing the mountain and learn endurance. Click on the photo if you really want to see the thing up close!