KEY SCRIPTURE Hebrews 12:12-15 & Isaiah 35:3
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Many things discourage us on our Christian walk. God's aim is for us to grow to a stage where Satan can throw his entire armoury at us, yet nothing penetrates. Though discouragement can have its way, we need to win those battles as we step up to that level of maturity. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.
Our faith is tested due to diverse reasons. God wrote these types of scriptures because He knows discouragement better than anybody. He has put up with humans for many years.
Scriptures show what happens when we take our eyes off Jesus. Such as when Peter walked on water and then sank when he looked at the waves. We try to be brave, but some issues hit us hard, and we struggle to deal with them. They are like a chronic illness with no quick fix, impacting our faith—not the long term faith of life after death, but the faith needed for the daily minor issues. We say, "I know I'm going to heaven, but I'm hurting right now and have no answers."
Our key scripture responds to those deeply emotional trials importantly. First, it encourages us to "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees". At times just doing that is hard enough. We pump ourselves up and then slump back into discouragement a short time later, again feeling defeated. We end up on this very tiring up-and-down cycle, which, in the end, is simply exhausting. That's because we're not relying on Jesus.
But then our scripture warns us not to remain in a low state. "And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;"
When feeling down, it's hard to see a direct path ahead. Regardless of the uplifting scriptures, we find little satisfaction. Yet God puts the responsibility back on us. While we're in that state, he says to lift and strengthen the hands and knees. He mentions these appendages for a reason. Hands are for praising and working, defending, pushing obstacles out of the way and reaching out to others. Knees symbolise how efficiently we walk. How effectively we march through troubles, over obstacles, and up hills of trials, and how fast we run the spiritual race set before us. They represent a large part of our relationship with Christ. What will become of our Christian life when these hang down and are feeble? God considers it a dangerous time—turned out of the way;"
Think about what this means. There is only One Way, and we can more easily be turned out of it when down. We can become lame and ineffective in our own Church. We are no longer helpers but chronically needy. Many souls have been turned out of the way for this reason.
Discouragement comes when we take our eyes off Jesus. When trust in our Saviour lapses, fear and pessimism reigns. We think we deserve more. We fear what is to come. We worry about things when we have been told not to be anxious and lack trust in our omnipotent Lord.
When discouraged or down, we don't think we've taken our eyes off Jesus, but we have. Our hearts become fertile soil for the chronic enslavement by anxiety.
The advice of our key scripture? Let it be healed. Come to Jesus and let Him take your worries and sorrows. He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. As difficult as your issues are, He died for them so He could heal you. Give over discouragement and get motivated; it costs you too much.
Dear Lord, thank you for these simple scriptures which I read os many times and used. Help me when I am down, to see your glory and work you have for me. Help me understand the need to let my troubles and woes be healed, so I can remain effective in your service.
Photo by Drew Beamer