Question: "What does it mean that He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23)?"
Answer: In Hebrews 10:19–39, the biblical writer turns to the theme of spiritual endurance and maintaining stamina in the Christian life. Instead of shrinking back or turning away from Christ in challenging times, he urges believers to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
The expression “hold unswervingly” in the original language means “to hold fast” or “stick to firmly.” We are to grab hold of Jesus Christ and never let Him go. In a similar encouragement, the apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth to stand firm and hold on tight to the message of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1–2).
Even if we suffer for our faith, we must never give up on our commitment to Christ because God who promised is faithful to keep His Word. “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled,” says Joshua 21:45. When we draw near to God, we experience Christ’s power to endure (Ephesians 1:19–23; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
Even our ability to hold on to Christ as we wait for the fulfillment of His promises depends on God’s faithfulness to provide the strength and stamina we need to endure (1 Corinthians 1:18–25; 2 Corinthians 13:4). The transcendent power of God is “made perfect” in our human weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9–10). Peter tells us that God’s power gives us “everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:3–4, CSB).
We hold tightly to the hope we profess, and we are held firmly by a Savior who is a great high priest. He understands our weaknesses: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14–16). We can count on God’s mercy and grace to supply us with whatever we may need whenever we may need it.
Walking closely with the Lord involves a life of faith, clinging to God’s promises. It has been this way since the days of Abraham, the founding father of our family of faith: “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises” (Romans 4:20–21, NLT). In Hebrews 11:1, the author describes faith as trust in the unseen promises of God. He then showcases a multitude of faithful believers who held on to the hope they professed. In the end, these heroes of faith will inherit the fullness of God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12–15; 11:32–33).
Spiritual staying power and consistent obedience to God have rich returns: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35–36).
God’s promises, by their nature, are for the future. But if we hold steadfastly to Christ and the hope we profess in Him, “He who promised is faithful” to bring those assurances into our present-day experiences. In Colossians 1:27 Paul taught that, because Christ is alive in us, we already have the hope of eternal life with Him. His indwelling Spirit provides the guarantee of sharing in the riches of His glory. Romans 5:2 says, “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (NLT).
He who promised is faithful means we can count on God and His Word. “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does,” declares Psalm 33:4 (NLT). The Lord’s promises for our future infuse us with hope for today. We can stand, walk, sleep, and wake secure in this truth: God is trustworthy to keep His Word.