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Hebrews 12:12

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Wherefore - In view of the facts which have been now stated - that afflictions are sent from God, and are evidences of his paternal watchfulness.

Lift up the hands which hang down - As if from weariness and exhaustion. Renew your courage; make a new effort to bear them. The hands fall by the side when we are exhausted with toil, or worn down by disease; see the notes on Isaiah 35:3, from which place this exhortation is taken.

And the feeble knees - The knees also become enfeebled by long effort, and tremble as if their strength were gone. Courage and resolution may do much, however, to make them firm, and it is to this that the apostle exhorts those to whom he wrote. They were to make every effort to bear up under their trials. The hope of victory will do much to strengthen one almost exhausted in battle; the desire to reach home invigorates the frame of the weary traveler. So it is with the Christian. In persecution, and sickness, and bereavement, he may be ready to sink under his burdens. The hands fall, and the knees tremble, and the heart sinks within us. But confidence in God, and the hope of heaven, and the assurance that all this is for our good, will reinvigorate the enfeebled frame, and enable us to bear what we once supposed would crush us to the dust. A courageous mind braces a feeble body, and hope makes it fresh for new conflicts.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
A burden of affliction is apt to make the Christian's hands hang down, and his knees grow feeble, to dispirit him and discourage him; but against this he must strive, that he may better run his spiritual race and course. Faith and patience enable believers to follow peace and holiness, as a man follows his calling constantly, diligently, and with pleasure. Peace with men, of all sects and parties, will be favourable to our pursuit of holiness. But peace and holiness go together; there can be not right peace without holiness. Where persons fail of having the true grace of God, corruption will prevail and break forth; beware lest any unmortified lust in the heart, which seems to be dead, should spring up, to trouble and disturb the whole body. Falling away from Christ is the fruit of preferring the delights of the flesh, to the blessing of God, and the heavenly inheritance, as Esau did. But sinners will not always have such mean thoughts of the Divine blessing and inheritance as they now have. It agrees with the profane man's disposition, to desire the blessing, yet to despise the means whereby the blessing is to be gained. But God will neither sever the means from the blessing, nor join the blessing with the satisfying of man's lusts. God's mercy and blessing were never sought carefully and not obtained.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Wherefore lift up the hands - The apostle refers to Isaiah 35:3. The words are an address to persons almost worn out with sickness and fatigue, whose hands hang down, whose knees shake, and who are totally discouraged. These are exhorted to exert themselves, and take courage, with the assurance that they shall infallibly conquer if they persevere.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 131

If you will think less of yourself and more of the treasures in your household, giving due consideration to the members of your family and allowing them a proper exercise of their individual judgment, you will bring a blessing upon yourself and them, and will increase the respect they feel for you. 4T 131.1

You have been inclined to look with a sort of contempt upon your brethren who were faulty, and who, because of their natural temperament, found it hard to overcome the evils that beset them. But Jesus pities them; He loves them and bears with their infirmities even as He does with yours. You do wrong to exalt yourself above those who are not so strong as you are. You do wrong to shut yourself up in a self-righteous spirit, thanking God that you are not like other men, but, that your faith and zeal exceed those of the poor, feeble ones striving to do right under discouragements and darkness. 4T 131.2

Angels from a pure and holy heaven come to this polluted world to sympathize with the weakest, the most helpless and needy, while Christ Himself descended from His throne to help just such as these. You have no right to hold yourself aloof from these faltering ones, nor to assert your marked superiority over them. Come more in unison with Christ, pity the erring, lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees, and bid the fearful hearts be strong. Pity and help them, even as Christ has pitied you. 4T 131.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 496

“In our several callings there is to be a mutual dependence on one another for assistance. A spirit of authority is not to be exercised, even by the president of a conference; for position does not change a man into a creature that cannot err. Every laborer entrusted with the management of a conference is to work as Christ worked, wearing His yoke and learning of Him His meekness and lowliness. A conference president's spirit and demeanor in word and in deed reveal whether he realizes his weakness and places his dependence on God, or whether he thinks that his position of influence has given him superior wisdom. If he loves and fears God, if he realizes the value of souls, if he appreciates every jot of the help that the Lord has qualified a brother worker to render, he will be able to bind heart to heart by the love that Christ revealed during His ministry. He will speak words of comfort to the sick and the sorrowing. TM 496.1

“If he does not cultivate a masterly manner, but bears in mind always that One is his Master, even Christ, he can counsel the inexperienced, encouraging them to be God's helping hand. TM 496.2

“The feeble hands are not to be deterred from doing something for the Master. Those whose knees are weak are not to be caused to stumble. God desires us to encourage those whose hands are weak, to grasp more firmly the hand of Christ, and to work hopefully. Every hand should be outstretched to help the hand that is doing something for the Master. The time may come when the hands that have upheld the feeble hands of another may, in turn, be upheld by the hands to whom they ministered. God has so ordered matters that no man is absolutely independent of his fellowmen.” TM 496.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 184-5

The command to you is, “Go work today in My vineyard.” We are all God's workmen, and not one is to be idle; but I would ask, What are you doing for the Master in order that you may hear His words of approval, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things? God never makes a mistake; He will never call men good and faithful who are not good and faithful. TM 184.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 79-80

The wilderness itself has neither glory nor excellence, and to the Lord is to be ascribed all the honor for the transformation wrought. This great work is of God. Therefore magnify not the men who are under the special working of His power. Glorify God, and He will continue to work. 8T 79.1

The Lord has a special work for His people to do at this time. He says: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” This is the very work that the apostle Paul charges the churches to do. “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,” he says, “and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:12-15. 8T 79.2

I pray that now as never before both ministers and church members may come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Study prayerfully the seventeenth chapter of John. This chapter is not only to be read again and again; its truths are to be eaten and assimilated. “For their sakes,” Christ prayed: “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:19-23. 8T 80.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 212

We are now to unify and by true medical missionary work prepare the way for our coming King. But let us remember that Christian unity does not mean that the identity of one person is to be submerged in that of another; nor does it mean that the mind of one is to be led and controlled by the mind of another. God has not given to any man the power that some, by word and act, seek to claim. God requires every man to stand free and to follow the directions of the word. 8T 212.1

Let us increase in a knowledge of the truth, giving all praise and glory to Him who is One with the Father. Let us seek most earnestly for the heavenly anointing, the Holy Spirit. Let us have a pure, growing Christianity, that in the heavenly courts we may at last be pronounced complete in Christ. 8T 212.2

“Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” Matthew 25:6. Lose no time now in rising and trimming your lamps. Lose no time in seeking perfect unity with one another. We must expect difficulties. Trials will come. Christ, the Captain of our salvation, was made perfect through suffering. His followers will encounter the enemy many times and will be severely tried, but they need not despair. Christ says to them: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. 8T 212.3

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