"If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small."
The Scriptures are painfully, lovingly blunt.
We humans like to pad the truth with little white lies, little justifications, little blames, little excuses of why we are reacting wrongly when life is hard.
The Lord loves us enough to speak the truth. He knows our human weakness and our fleshly tendency to faint when we should stand firm.
The Hebrew word for faint, raphah, is defined as to "sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened ."
Doesn’t that perfectly describe our reactions when we are troubled? We let the enemy lay the point of his rapier to our throats and victory.
It further is defined as to, "withdraw, to let alone, to show oneself slack."
We isolate ourselves from those that could encourage, and we stop putting effort into what we should be doing.
It's as if all the enemy has to do is put his hand to his weapon and we jump back, wondering why WE would be attacked, wondering why OUR life is being troubled, and we shrivel up in imagined defeat.
Have we forgotten that we are in spiritual warfare? Have we not noticed that the Scriptures freely speak about suffering?
The Lord has not kept any of this a secret from His beloved ones. He has spoken clearly in His Holy Word. He has warned us.
He has prepared us.
He has given us the spiritual armor.
He is beside us.
He dwells within us.
He goes before us.
Still, we are like frightened children that run scared silly when adversity jumps out and says “BOO!”
Adversity has a way of sometimes showing our worst, and not our best. We forget that the same power that raised Christ up from the dead is the same power that resides within us if we have trusted Christ as our Savior. That spiritual power can give resurrection victory to our feeble hearts and hands.
I Samuel 1 tells us about Elkahan and the trouble between his two wives. Year after year, the fruitful Peninnah tormented the barren Hannah, rubbing in the fact that she was blessed with children and Hannah wasn't. Since children are a blessing from Lord, Peninnah was also flaunting as assumed spiritual superiority.
Verse 6, "And her rival (Peninnah) also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her (Hannah's) womb."
Hannah cried out to the Lord in bitterness of soul and her prayers were answered with her son, Samuel.
Adversity is defined as, "a vexer, a rival wife." Like Peninnah, who used a trying situation to mock, torment and discourage Hannah, adversity dwells with us and tries to wear down our souls, causing us to believe those lies and be bitter.
It can come upon us violently as a storm, or silently and quietly, as a blackberry vine, growing and subtly overtaking us until we are bound. Our strength, or our ability to remain firm, is weak if we focus on only the situation.
We need to pray.
Luke 18:1, "And He spoke a parable unto them, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint."
We need to rely on the Lord's strength, not our own.
Ephesians 6:10, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
Only when we pass that baton of human weakness onto the Lord, can He continue the race for us.
2 Corinthians 12:9, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
We can't use His strength without the PERSON of that strength - the Lord Jesus Christ.
We can't use His strength without reading the PAGES about that strength - the Word of God.
We can't use His strength without the POWER of that strength - the Holy Spirit.
Be Strong and Don't Faint!