I don't know about you, but I love reading the Old Testament. I've read it once a year, now, for several years, and the more I read it, the more I fall in love with God's patience and mercy (Yes, you heard me right!). I can't help but notice this common theme, beginning in the Garden: things are going AMAZING! God is fulfilling all of His promises...and then people rebel. It gets bad, and God has to discipline His children, cover them by His mercy and grace, and begin anew. Why is this? This isn't just common to the Old Testament. Much of the letters of the New Testament were written for people who just didn't get it! They were doing well, and then tried to have God on their terms. Yet, over and again, God's grace and mercy shines through. God is so patient with our stubborn hearts! So why does this keep happening, over and again? Why does one generation rise and the next fall? It's because each generation needs to rise to the occasion of Faith that God has placed them there for. Consider it: we have an Enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy; he gets us reliant on our resources, our talents, our turn to shine. It takes but a moment for a generation to get distracted, to remove their eyes from the One who provides it all, and so when our eyes are removed, it's easy to fall (most times, slowly and gradually) and wonder how we got to where we are at.
This is why we need to train those who come up after us, deliberately, carefully, and patiently. Consider that even Jesus' own disciples abandoned him. Heck, Peter, John and several of the guys went back to fishing (See John 21)! Even with the Risen Lord in their vision, they still doubted themselves. Yet Jesus, patiently, deliberately, and carefully restored them to Himself, and they changed the world. Paul echoes this in his letters to the church, and to his sons in the faith, Timothy and Titus. As in a relay race, we also need to pass on to those who come up after us. Prosperity and security will distract us, the state of affairs around us will dishearten us, but the Word of God, and the Spirit within us will enliven and invigorate us, giving us all we need to face the day ahead. Pass it on.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
(Chapter 6) Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.