5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation (Romans 2).
Two goals, two outcomes. Eternal life to those who persevere in doing good, as they seek glory, honor, and immortality (purity). Wrath and indignation to those who are stubborn, unrepentant, and selfishly ambitious, as they seek their own unrighteous desires. These goals and outcomes are about two kinds of people: those who are persevering, which is having a hardness of will (which is a good thing), and those who are stubborn, having a hardness of heart (which of course is a bad thing).
A person with hardness of will can persevere when times get hard; a person with hardness of heart will fold up and go home. A hardness of will comes with having a soft heart towards God; a hardness of heart towards God produces a softness of will that can press on only if things are easy.
With a will hard as rock, Jesus set His face like a flint toward Jerusalem to fulfill His Father’s will and to persevere through the agonies of the Cross. To Him belong all glory and honor and holiness, and through Him we gain the same.
Thank You, Lord, for Your hardness of will towards Your purpose of saving us! Thank You that eternal life, and not wrath, is stored up for us! Help us This Day to have a hardness of will — not of heart. Amen.