February 4th, 2022 – Friday Afternoon
“Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” ~Hebrews 12:12-13
What is God’s desire for those who are under His discipline? If you think that He delights in the punishment and downfall of those who have gone astray or those who are being corrected, you are dead wrong. The passage above is written to those who have been charged with resisting sin and responding to the punishment (discipline) of the Father; it makes very clear that the intended result of discipline from His point of view is our salvation.
Our puny perspective always leads us to an incomplete and distorted view of truth. Specifically when we are talking about affliction, suffering, and discipline, our flesh leads us to anxiety and self-pity; our minds are clouded by our pain and we forget the goodness and lovingkindness of the God who beckons us to repentance and healing. Instead of enduring and finding His grace and strength to be sufficient, we give up and find empty hopelessness to be our lot; our perspective twists Him into a monster, and our weak and feeble hearts give way to anger, bitterness, and despair.
Enough of the blind and foolish human perspective!!! Look at our passage again. This is the Father’s desire for those He disciplines, namely, His children; this is His will for those who are His in Christ Jesus. Stop striving against Him and start striving against sin; stop pushing back against His discipline and start strengthening – with His strength and grace – your weak hands and feeble knees. Do not allow your emotions and your pain to dictate your mind, your words, and your actions; rather, set your mind on Christ and find His strength to be yours. This isn’t a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality – remember, you can’t do anything apart from Him; instead, this mindset spells death to the flesh (which is blind and foolish) and life to the Spirit’s control and power in and through us.
The second part of this passage gives further guidance as to how we reach the desired goal of healing: Make straight paths for your feet so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint. The Greek word for “straight” is transliterated “orthos”. Sound familiar? It should, since “orthotics” is a term used for “an externally applied device used to influence the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system”. You may use orthotics in order to help your joints, bones, and muscles to function properly and to stay where they are supposed to. In addition to that, the Greek word that is used for “paths” refers to a track or path, such as the track of a wheel or a rut. Putting these two words together in the context of this passage and taking the Old Testament Scripture from which this line probably derives itself (Proverbs 4:26), we understand that the key to healing (salvation) is found in walking the straight, secure, and solid track of God’s wisdom and way. His will is for our salvation, and His way of truth and righteousness is where it is found.
Wow! Praise the Lord! The Father disciplines us – chastening us so that we might turn to Him and find good, be holy, produce His fruit, experience real life, etc. – and then provides what we need for our whole salvation and healing. Therefore, let us strengthen our weary souls in Him – claiming as our own His grace and mercy; let us choose His path of life for our feet to walk in – embracing His salvation and healing for our broken lives. He is good and His love endures forever!
Thank You, Father!