Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Incredible strength amidst struggles
" 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."
The author of Hebrews is exhorting the believers to run a race with a purpose, with endurance and the blessing of the discipline. When we face hardships or struggles in our lives, they are not circumstantial or coincidental. They are the product of our Heavenly Father's love for us. They are His training program to mature us, mold us, and shape us into the image of His son. In v7 we read "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? When we experience struggle, we will reach the end of ourselves and we will trust in God to accomplish His will in our lives. God uses such struggles to teach us to trust Him so that He can use us, change us and see us through this life. When we go through God's training program, we will come to know the Lord with greater trust and faith than we have ever known before. It does not mean that our troubles and trials are not difficult. God knows our training is difficult and intense and can wear us out. He also knows that without His grace, we will give in to our fatigue, heartache, sorrow and pain. God does not desire us to be a failure, but He wants us to learn to cry out to Him, cling to Him, and trust Him to accomplish His will in our lives.
In v11 we read "No discipline seems pleasant at that time, but painful”. But, we need to undergo this training program for us to completely rely on His mercy. This happens in our lives so that we will rely upon His wisdom, His counsel, His guidance, His comfort, and His exhortations as we go through this life.
We read the same scripture in Isaiah 35:1-4 and I am sure the writer of Hebrews got his inspiration from there. God's people had been through a lot when Isaiah wrote these words to Israelites. They had suffered through many evil kings, powerful enemy nations who had destroyed their homeland and taken them captive to different countries who couldn't care less about the living God. They were on the verge of giving up when these powerful words were given to them. Isaiah says, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘be strong, do not fear; your God will come…” A better day is coming -- don’t give up now! Hold on! Help is on its way!
When we are struggling, facing hardships, when we see no way out of our situations, when we are desperate, when we are ready to give up and surrender, the scripture expounds, "this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God". God is reaching out! Your situation is going to change. Your struggles are going to be over. Come to the foot of the cross and cry out for help. Help is on the way! Empty yourselves and “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalms 55:22. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalms 46:1
Prayer: Almighty God, we pray that those who are weary would find their comfort and strength for their feeble hands and wobbly knees in your arms. Amen
Thought for the Day: "this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God"
Dr. Joseph Mattackal, Long Island Mar Thoma Church
Theme of the week: Incredible amidst of struggles