Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed. (Heb 12:12-13)
This is God’s word of encouragement to us to lift up the hands of faith, and confirm the knees of prayer. Often our faith grows tired, languid, and relaxed, and our prayers lose their force and effectiveness.
The figure used here is a very striking one. The idea seems to be that we become discouraged and so timid that a little obstacle depresses and frightens us, and we are tempted to walk around it, and not face it: to take the easier way.
Perhaps it is some physical trouble that God is ready to heal, but the exertion is hard, or it is easier to secure some human help, or walk around in some other way.
There are many ways of walking around emergencies instead of going straight through them. How often we come up against something that appalls us, and we want to evade the issue with the excuse:
“I am not quite ready for that now.” Some sacrifice is to be made, some obedience demanded, some Jericho to be taken, some soul that we have not the courage to claim and carry through, some prayer that is hanging fire, or perhaps some physical trouble that is half healed and we are walking around it.
God says, “Lift up the hands that hang down.” March straight through the flood, and lo, the waters will divide, the Red Sea will open, the Jordan will part, and the Lord will lead you through to victory.
Don’t let your feet “be turned out of the way,” but let your body “be healed,” your faith strengthened. Go right ahead and leave no Jericho behind you unconquered and no place where Satan can say that he was too much for you. This is a profitable lesson and an intensely practical one. How often have we been in that place. Perhaps you are there today. "
—A. B. Simpson
Pay as little attention to discouragement as possible. Plough ahead as a steamer does, rough or smooth—rain or shine. To carry your cargo and make your port is the point.
—Maltbie D. Babcock