When Joshua lost the battle at AI after his incredible victory over Jericho, he fell on his face and wept before God. Joshua 7:10 tells us that God spoke to him and said, “The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?’” It seems that those being addressed by the writer of the book of Hebrews may very well have fallen on their faces in light of the persecution they were experiencing. They had left their older forms of religious ritual and put their confidence in the person and work of Jesus and were suffering because of it. They were asking “why does God allow such suffering to come on us who are believing in His Son?” The answer is seen in Hebrews 12:7-11. God allows suffering in many different ways in our lives to make us better not bitter. Now in Hebrews 12:12-13, the writer gives us clear instructions on how to capitalize on the pain we have in life. We need to do three things.

First, “get up.” Verse 12 says, “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees.” This seems to be a direct quote from Isaiah 35:3-4. It says, “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not!’” The Greek word for “weak knees” is the word from which we get paralysis. Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic that was brought to him by his friends and the religious leaders challenged His right and ability to forgive sins because they believed only God could forgive sins. Jesus didn’t deny that truth but identified with the God who can and does forgive. Luke 5:24-25 says, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the man who was paralyzed – ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.” It was through faith that the paralytic was healed. It’s faith, trust in God through the times of hardship and trials of life that can get us back on our feet.

Next, the writer continues with the idea of healing for the crippled. Hebrews 12:13 says, “…and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” We’ve already heard the writer instruct his readers and us, to keep our eyes on Jesus! We read in Hebrews 12:2, “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” It was through faith all the heroes mentioned in chapter 11 persevered through trials and hardships without experiencing their deliverance on earth. It is through faith that Jesus healed the cripple. It is only through faith we can find true peace with God.