Hebrews 1212-17 [12] Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,  [13] and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.  [14] Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  [15] See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;  [16] that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.  [17] For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Hebrews 12:1 gives the Christian and the church a command regarding living the Christian life –  lay aside everything that hinders and run the race of the Christian life with perseverance.  We set our sights on the prize before us – Jesus Himself, and run the race. We are to lay aside every weight and lay aside the sin that so easily besets. We are to look to Jesus. We are to consider Him and His work of saving us from our sins. We are to endure discipline. How? How do we go about laying aside the extra baggage that slows us down spiritually? What do we do to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus … ? That is what these next verses are telling us. We run the race by fixing our eyes on Jesus. We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus by doing what verses 12-17 tell us.

Verse 12 – Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees.

This is a reference to Isaiah 35:3. 
            Isaiah 35:1-4 (ESV)  
    The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
        the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 
    [2] it shall blossom abundantly
        and rejoice with joy and singing.
    The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
        the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
    They shall see the glory of the Lord,
       the majesty of our God. 
    [3] Strengthen the weak hands,
       and make firm the feeble knees. 
    [4] Say to those who have an anxious heart,
        “Be strong; fear not!
    Behold, your God
       will come with vengeance,
    with the recompense of God.
        He will come and save you.” 
What is happening in Isaiah 35? Dark days in Judah that Isaiah is talking about. False prophets, immorality, idolatry. The judgement of God is coming. What to do for those who have remained faithful, who mourn the sin and godlessness of their people, who fear for them because of the coming judgement of God. Salvation is coming. Your faithfulness is not wasted. God is not asleep. He will come and He shall keep His covenant promises to all the faithful. Do not give up. Here, take my hand and let me help you since your hands are too weak.

Ah dear ones – there are those in the church who really love Jesus, who want to do better, who get down and discouraged and depressed and hurt … . How should we respond? Gossip? A shaking of the head? How about taking them out for coffee and asking them how you can help and put them on your prayer list and keep in touch with them about how they are doing. “Well yes, of course but who is going to do that for me?” The ones you do it for. You are developing a relationship with a family member.
Job 4:3-4

Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.

The Christian life is a race. It will not be won easily. It takes perseverance, discipline and a clear view of the prize that is set before us. None of us will make it alone. Hands droop and knees buckle. The job of those whose hands are still strong and whose knees are still pushing them ahead, is to help those who are starting to flag. The race will not be won without the mutual care for all who are in it. The Christian life is a marathon, but it is not solitary.

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