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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.

- Hebrews 11: 32-35.

Something to think about

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 and the greatest danger.

I suspect that our problems and challenges are rather different from the ones that these Old Testament figures 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 for them. Pray for your own faith to be strengthened as you face challenges in your life.

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.

Adapted from a contribution by the Rev Jonathan Edwards, former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.