Friday, August 26, 2011

Proverbs 24:10 commentary; thy strength is small

10 ¶ If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

This is an indictment of most of us who go through troubling times. We are told we are sick and its possibly life threatening and instead of running around the doctor’s office and praising God that we’re going to get to go home, maybe, we cry and plead with God to keep us HERE for some more time with our loved ones who should be going where we’re going anyway if we’ve done our duty so our parting will be only a brief moment in time. But, the Bible gives us an example of that sentiment so we don’t feel too bad about our worry.

Philippians 1:21 ¶ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Again, we are jobless, perhaps, or in dire financial straits for other reasons and instead of simply resting in Christ when He has promised us;

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We worry and fret about how we’re going to pay bills we didn’t ask God if it was alright for us to accrue in the first place, for material possessions that were a reflection of our worship of Self rather than God’s will. And yet, God has always provided what we actually needed to survive and to glorify Him.

And again, we find that we have a chronic illness. Perhaps it’s aging. Perhaps something debilitating when we are younger and desire to be more active. We are told;

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

But, our usual response might be self pity, worry, and a constant looking to modern medicine to relieve the symptoms of our disorder. Now, it’s human to be concerned, to worry. I was raised by two worrywarts and that tends to rub off onto you. But, even in the death of a loved one, a child, for instance, or a spouse, we have this;

1 Thessalonians 4:13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The hymn goes, “I hear the Savior say, Thy strength indeed is small, Child of weakness, Watch and Pray, Find in me thine all in all….”

When adversity arrives, and for many of us, it has been a guest in our homes for many years, that is when our faith is an example to others who are not saved. All of your church attendance, soul winning, and passing out tracts will pale in comparison to the effect your witness has when you are facing tribulation in faith and hope and expectation of God’s mercy and justice and grace. It is very difficult to put on a happy face especially in troubles that you know you could have done more to prevent, that are so much your own fault. Perhaps you smoked for dozens of years, or drank alcohol, or didn’t take advantage of opportunities you had to put your financial house in order, eat properly, exercise, or take care of your health, or any one of a number of things but now, here you are, face to face with trouble.

When the day of adversity comes that’s when the truth or falsehood of your proclamations of your faith in Christ are made apparent. We have no strength within ourselves. Our strength is Christ. Will you be a witness to His mercy and goodness in the day of adversity or will you be just like every other human being in the world with nothing to look forward to beyond death’s door but the misery of Hell and the Lake of Fire? I suppose the question can be asked, if you faint in the day of adversity, did you really believe at all? There are two things that reveal faith or faithlessness more than any others. One, is your willingness to take wrong and not to seek revenge. Two, is your faith and joy in the day of adversity. I think if you examine yourself closely, you’ll find that most Christians fall short in some way. Thank God that He understands.

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