If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Adversity is not unique to the Christian life. It comes to everyone at one time or another and in various forms and faces as we live in this fallen world. Yet, there is a unique aspect to it when it is applied to the Christian who desires the righteousness of God and pursues the kingdom of God. That adversity is often given in the form of opposition from friends and family who do not know the love of God in Christ. It is a painful thing for most people. There are fewer things in life than being opposed by people who are close to you. Yet, the Scriptures are clear that adversity from the ungodly will be the portion of the godly for most of their days. On that point, there is little disagreement. The question isn’t as much about the facts of the matter but what to do when it comes.
Solomon tells us that our strength is small if we give up in the face of adversity. He is not suggesting that those issues that come to us are insignificant. Instead, he seeks to encourage the faithful to persevere in those times. Why? Because of the One who does the persevering. No, we are not strong enough in ourselves to weather the storm of evil people. Left to ourselves, we would probably give up. Yet, that is no option for the child of God. It isn’t on the table because the Spirit of the living God will not allow his people to fall by the wayside and abandon the faith once delivered to the saints. Instead, in our weakness, we cry out to God for help in those times of hardship and plead with the God of heaven to defend us, help us, and strengthen us. It is when we are weak, he is strong. God is not interested in seeing his children go it alone. That is not the point. He is interested in seeing that they live their lives dependent on him. How else can you withstand fierce opposition from a spouse or family member? How else can you stand firm in the face of an employer who regards your love for Christ as a waste of time? How will you stand against the effects of sin in this world? It isn’t by your might but through the power of the Almighty. Therefore, friend, when opposed, reflect on the God of heaven and remember that he is a strong tower and fortress you can appeal to for the help you need. Remember that you do not serve a Savior who is not sympathetic to your concerns. He suffered these things as well, and he knows your struggle. Therefore, pray and plead through his Name for the help that your Father has promised to give. Indeed, if you faint, it isn’t because the help wasn’t available, it is because you did not seek it and tried it alone. Instead, cry out to your Father, and he will deliver you.
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