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Remaining strong

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT

Christians are called upon to endure in the race of life. We are not running in a sprint competition but a marathon. In our run, there are times we will hit the wall and we are called to tough it out. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:11). Instead of quitting, we are to find out the lessons we can learn when going through times of difficulties. God wants us to finish well. There are signs that we can see when our energy is flailing. As we are losing stride, we can be tempted to think that we might not finish the race. When this happens, we can be tempted to be in despair. Isaiah saw the Israelites starting to wobble so he provided them encouragements. “‘With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear’” (Isaiah 35:3-4). When Job was losing his grip and becoming disheartened because of the hardships he was going through, Eliphaz the Temanite reminded Job of how he encouraged others when they were going through difficulties in life. “In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?” (Job 4:3-6). We have to rely on God’s grace so we can remain firm and strong. Our endurance will provide encouragement to “those who are weak and lame.” They, too, need to be strong. We need to help others finish the race. We are called upon to carry each other’s burden. “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).



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