“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. ” Hebrews 12:12
My husband has been preaching through the book of Hebrews (my favorite). A few weeks ago, we heard about the great cloud of witnesses who surround us — those biblical and contemporary saints who went before us and suffered for the faith. Then we learned about discipline, how we should submit to it because God is building our character through it. Last week’s sermon started with the verse above. The therefore means we should pay attention to what has come before. Because we are one in a long line of saints, because we have endured the Lord’s discipline, we are to continue to be strong in order to encourage others.
I have to admit that lately I’ve been feeling rather weak. I’m getting older (turning 70 later this month) and this coronavirus situation has dealt a blow. A month or more of enforced isolation somehow lessened my desire to get out and accomplish things. Church is more difficult — people are uneasy and quick to accuse others of not doing the right thing, some are not attending at all, finances are suffering. We’re uncertain about the future, and frankly, I’m not sure I’m up to being an optimistic leader right now.
The verse about tells me that quitting is not an option. We are to remain strong, not only for ourselves but for others. Any suffering we encounter is simply a consequence of our sinful humanity, and as the author puts it in verse 4:
“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:5
The last chapter of the book closes with a list of things we can be doing no matter how daunting our situation. Take a look:
- “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.” (12:14)
- “See to it that no one misses the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up” (12:15)
- “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” (13:1)
- “Do not forget to entertain strangers” (13:2)
- “Remember those in prison” (13:3)
- “Marriage should be honored by all” (13:4)
- “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.” (13:5)
- “Remember your leaders” (13:7)
- “Pray for us” (13:18)
There’s more, but this gives you a taste. There is much to be done. We’re to continue serving God and serving others — this much is certain. Weak knees are not an excuse!
For more on the book of Hebrews, see these posts: