Apologies for the late post, but work pays the bills.
Two notes to make from this week’s relatively short passage:
1. Our author is confident that his readers will/audience will continue to grow into a mature and dynamic faith. Note that it’s not due to their worth or quality that he is confident, but rather due to God’s constancy. He draws on the assurance that the God who is working in the lives of believers is the same God who has followed through on the promises and plans He’s made since before time began.
2. He notes that the hope of believers is made sure by perseverance. This is almost a tautology and can be taken two ways. The wrong way to take it would be to say that perseverance causes salvation (and hope therein). It’s by staying true through good and bad times that we earn our place in Heaven.
That’s wrong for obvious reasons. The other way is that our hope is based on our salvation, which we can see in our perseverance. That is, we will know that we have cause for hope by the constancy of our faith, which comes as a result of (and proof of) our salvation. This is that whole notion of works being evidence of faith from James. Our perseverance (and hope and love, etc.) are bold statements to others and to ourselves of the power of Christ that works within us.