Today’s Scripture: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The Jewish Christians of the first century were weary. They had experienced severe persecution, hardship, and loss. Some began to doubt Christianity while others had left the faith. It was to this tired and discouraged lot that the book of Hebrews was written. And its relief can be applied to downtrodden believers today.

What is the solution? Faith. No, not some gigantic, superhuman, spiritual-giant type of faith that leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Hebrews gives us the simple but profound definition. Faith is hope in an unseen, but powerful God as evidenced by His work in the lives of those who desperately cling to Him.

What encourages me is Hebrews 11. It is a list of the Bible’s “Hall of Fame.” When we look closely, we see men and women who were flawed. Murderers, adulterers, cheaters, liars, thieves-the list goes on. They weren’t spiritual giants, but weak and frail humans. And yet they were considered men and women of faith.

Faith, no matter the size, is what pleases God. He isn’t impressed with our oratory, or our talents, or our pocketbook. What really makes Him smile is our humble expression of dependence upon Him.

How do we get this faith? God gives it to us through the agency of the Holy Spirit. We’re not on our own out here in this big, bad world. The Holy Spirit sustains us, guides us, comforts us, protects us.

Maybe today you’re discouraged like the Hebrew Christians. Ask God to give you faith in His promises.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder