By Alice Northcutt
Today's Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2
Central Thought: We can draw strength from the faith of others when we face difficulties.
What a faith-encouraging group of witnesses we find as we look back at Hebrews chapter 11. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets; they all have stories of great works of faith they personally witnessed in times of distress. Chapter 12 points us to those witnesses and encourages us to take care to prepare ourselves to participate in that same faith.
Faith in the one true God—the God of these Bible heroes—can give us access to power that will carry us through tough situations. I have heard numerous individuals say they are looking for their miracle. Some looked with faith and others called it luck. If we want the power of faith, we must be willing to put aside anything that would hinder our faith; and we must look to Jesus, the source of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
What does it mean to put aside anything that would hinder? Perhaps a spouse, child, or other family member seems to hinder. Maybe it is an illness, a disease or other devastating event, or a thing that hinders. To put away a thing from our lives may be easy to do, but what about a person, condition, or event that is close to us—a part of our very life? The answer is that we can commit any individual, event, or problem to God in prayer. Faith and prayer can bring hope even when there is no outward evidence of a change.
God is still a God of miracles, but the greatest miracle and the greatest exercise of faith is to be true to God, even though outward situations have not changed. May we always find courage that will strengthen our faith as we commit our lives (and our hindrances) in prayer to Jesus, who endured the shame of the cross and now sits at the right hand of God.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me take courage from heroes of faith, both past and present, that I may have faith to run my race in life with the same endurance You exercised on the cross.
Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17