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.

Hebrews tells us that the readers continued to experience difficulties. Verbal and probably other kinds of attacks against their honor continued (Heb. 13:13). Some believers were still in prison (Heb. 13:3)—something that may have drained the church financially and psychologically. They were tired (Heb. 12:12, 13) and could easily “lose heart” (Heb. 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 mobilizes to face an impending threat is more difficult to summon a second time.

What did the apostle advise the readers to do in view of their situation? What can we learn from Hebrews for our own benefit?

The story of God’s dealings with Elijah after Carmel is fascinating because it shows the tender care and wisdom with which God ministers to those who are under distress and who struggle to regain faith. God did several things for Elijah. First, He cared for his physical needs. He provided food and let him rest. Then, in the cave, He kindly reproved him—“What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19: 9, 13, NKJV)—and helped him gain a deeper understanding of how He works and fulfills His purposes. God was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still, small voice. Then, God gave Elijah a work to do and reassured him.

Throughout Hebrews we can find several instructions that the apostle gave the readers to help them recover their original strength and faith. One aspect that the author emphasizes is to take care of the physical needs of their fellow believers. He suggests that they should practice hospitality and visit those in prison, which implied providing for their needs. The apostle exhorts the readers to be generous, remembering that God will not abandon them (Heb. 13:1–6). Paul also reproved them and encouraged them. He warned them to not gradually “drift away” (Heb. 2:1, ESV) and to not have “an evil heart of unbelief” (Heb. 3:12), and he encouraged them to grow in their understanding of the faith (Heb. 5:11–6:3). He also remarked about the importance of consistent attendance at church meetings (Heb. 10:25). In summary, he suggested that they press together, encourage one another, and stir up love and good works; but he also lifted up Jesus and His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in their behalf (Heb. 8:1, 2; 12:1–4).