When hands hang down and knees unflex…
Maybe you are exhausted from a multitude of heart-wrenching issues. Divorce. A prodigal child. Loss of a job. Maybe you have been grieving the loss of a loved one. God’s Word promises us that the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation,” (2 Cor. 1:3b-4a NKJV) “is near to those who have a broken heart.” (Ps. 34:18 NKJV)
Or maybe others have been hostile or mean to you. Hate you for your beliefs. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Think of all the hostility [Christ] endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up…If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience.” (Heb. 12:3a NLT, TLB)
Perhaps you feel hidden in the dark recesses of the crowded world. Ignored. Unknown. Left out. Depleted of self-confidence. And your hands really hang down, about to touch the floor.
Just remember: God needs you. You are an adored voice that others hear. You are a treasured life that others read. God will sustain you. And one day you will see the reward of your patience, of your courage, in your little corner of the world, and how it has reached others.
Maybe you’re going through a time of discipline from the Lord. The Hebrews’ writer reminds us, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” (Heb. 12:5-6 NLT)
No, it isn’t pleasant, but afterwards? Afterwards, “There will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Heb. 12:11 NLT)
As I was writing this, a song came on the cable music station I was listening to: I Am One in Peace. I started thinking about those words: I. Am. One. In. Peace.
I am one person…in peace. How? Because I am one in unity with Christ, THE peace.
The Lord’s peace is always ours. He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27a NKJV) It’s just that sometimes, we misplace it.
Are you wearied? Situations seem endless? When the battle rages long, victory seems unobtainable. The flesh gets weak…and so does the spirit. Hands fall by the side, when normally raised in praise. Knees usually bent from praying, stop bowing. Peace flies out the window.
That same writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.” (Heb. 12:12 AMPC)
When hands droop to the floor and knees tremble, Hebrews tells us to strengthen them. So, how do we do that? The word in Greek for strengthen means lift up, make erect, to straighten up.
It is an exhortation for us. To keep going. To restore our strength. To embrace courage. To make a new effort. To continue to hope, for we know that “this hope will never disappoint us.” (Rom. 5:5a NCV)
Whatever your situation, God is transforming you “into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV)
Therefore, “lift up your hands that have been weak. Stand up on your weak legs.” (Heb. 12:13a NLV)
Don’t give up! Look up!
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