Hebrews 11, 32-35
Something to read
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
What an amazing list of heroes! If you ever had the impression that living for God was a way of opting out of life and avoiding life’s problems, read this passage again!
The writer to the Hebrews has a quick look through the history of God’s people and picks out a number of people who had one thing in common – their faith in God meant that they were not overwhelmed by even the fiercest opposition.
Take the example of Gideon. He only had 300 men but was able to win a famous victory over the vast Ammonite army. Or look at Barak, whose army of young men was pitted against the Canaanites with their 900 iron chariots.
Scary stuff! Or look at Samson, who was always a lonely hero, but who time and time again succeeded against the most terrible odds. These amazing people faced incredibly difficult challenges but they did so with confidence because they were men of faith, and were confident in their God.
I suspect that our problems and challenges are rather different from the ones that these Old Testament heroes faced. I certainly hope so! But the problems and challenges we face still demand the best of us, and we need to remind ourselves that faith in God is as essential today as it was thousands of years ago.
Something to do
Look at the Christian Aid website and focus attention on one particular person who is facing overwhelming challenges. Pray that today they will place their confidence in God.
Something to pray
God our Father we thank you for the extraordinary example of women and men of faith in the past.
Help us to be humble enough to learn from their example, and to be inspired by their lives.
Help us today to face every challenge with peace and confidence because of our knowledge that you will always be with us and will never let us down.
Fill us with your Spirit, that in all that we do the name of Jesus Christ may be praised. Amen.
Today's contributor is the Rev Jonathan Edwards, former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.