The readers of Hebrews were successful in keeping their faith and commitment to Christ, despite rejection and persecution. The conflict, however, took a toll in the long run. They fought a good fight and came out victorious but also weary.
Read Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 3:12-13; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 12:3, Hebrews 12:12-13; and Hebrews 13:1-9, Hebrews 13:13.
What were some of the challenges the believers were facing?
Hebrews tells us that the readers continued to experience difficulties. Verbal and probably other kinds of attacks against their honor continued (Hebrews 13:13). Some believers were still in prison (Hebrews 13:3) — something that may have drained the church financially and psychologically. They were tired (Hebrews 12:12-13) and could easily “lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3, NIV).
It is usual among persons and communities that after the thrill of victory passes, psychological and other kinds of defenses are relaxed, and they become more vulnerable to the counterattack of their enemies. The strength that a person or community mobilized to face an impending threat is more difficult to summon a second time.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-4. What happened to Elijah?
“But a reaction such as frequently follows high faith and glorious success was pressing upon Elijah. He feared that the reformation begun on Carmel might not be lasting; and depression seized him. He had been exalted to Pisgah’s top; now he was in the valley. While under the inspiration of the Almighty, he had stood the severest trial of faith; but in this time of discouragement, with Jezebel’s threat sounding in his ears, and Satan still apparently prevailing through the plotting of this wicked woman, he lost his hold on God. He had been exalted above measure, and the reaction was tremendous. Forgetting God, Elijah fled on and on, until he found himself in a dreary waste, alone.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pages 161, 162.
|Think about those times in which you failed in your Christian life and try to understand the circumstances and factors that contributed to the collapse. What could you have done differently?|