I like that the Bible is big, with lots of books and verses. God planned it that way, I think, so that we could constantly “re-discover” the riches of his word. I would bet my Ford Focus (for sale, by the way), that I had read this verse before:
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small (Proverbs 24:10).
But it hit me in a new way, and I spent a few minutes digging into this verse for my own soul.
I came up or found with these synonyms for faint: falter, quit, let go, fall to pieces, slacken, do nothing, crumble.
And these for the day of adversity: time of crisis, difficult time, day of distress, under pressure, when things are hard.
And for small: limited, lacking, a sham, a facade.
O verall, this verse makes this point: true strength shows itself in true struggle. Or as a sort of cliched, proverbial, motivational poster might say: Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.
With this verse in mind, I thought of three reactions to difficult situations we tend toward in difficult situations:
Reaction #1: This reaction says, “I stink and I can’t do it.” It proves very small strength, a weak back and narrow shoulders. As you might say on Twitter: #FAIL.
Reaction #2: Bear up under pressure. This reaction says, “I’m strong enough!” This reaction grits its teeth and tries to hold a weight it will never be able to bear.
Reaction #3: Leans into Christ under pressure. Interestingly, this is a combination of both #1 and #2. It says, “By myself, I am weak; but in Christ I am strong.” Sound a lot like a famous missionary in the first century, doesn’t it? (For those who don’t like subtlety: it’s the Apostle Paul and 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 in action: .)
I tend to oscillate between #1 and #2, but God wants me to get to #3. To see true weakness and true strength in light of Christ.
Question: How do you tend to react in the “day of adversity”? How can we move from reactions #1 and #2 to reaction #3?