If You Faint in the Day of Adversity
Dale M. Sides
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10
Throughout the body of Christ, we are hearing the need to draw close to God during this present time of financial, political, and social unrest. I could not agree more. As we receive our strength from Him, we can ultimately benefit from these trying times too. It should encourage us to know that the most difficult times in our lives are usually the times of our greatest growth. Our desperate need of Him during theses times and our corresponding action of drawing closer to Him will produce a process of refining and growth within us, which is one of the reasons He allows us to go through trials. We are reminded that we can do nothing in and of ourselves; we are compelled to trust in Him instead of in our own strength.
The Proving Ground of Earthly Life
Are you feeling despair now at the loss of a job, or money, or even the security that you thought money could buy? Guess what? The biblical indication is that it is going to get worse before it gets better. When Yahweh judges Mammon as Revelation 18 and 19 promises, there are going to be a lot more jobs lost, as well as lives. God has not allowed His plan of the ages to play out so that we could be comfortable and wealthy, as western Christianity promotes; instead, He has turned what Satan meant for evil into a proving ground to refine us. The struggles and trials of this earthly life allow us to prove the depth of our love for Him by our reliance upon Him. In the process, our character and endurance will be strengthened.
If the servant is not above His Master, and our Master gave His life for us, then what should we expect? Where is our dedication? What is our devotion? To what do we give our adoration? How do we spend our time? Our earthly lives should be given completely over to Him. There is no hope outside of Him. Why would we desire anything but Him? Everything this world has to offer is a sham. Our deliverance is not in a recovered economy; nor is it in a renewed sense of nationalism. Our hope and deliverance is only in the coming of our King to redeem this lost world and to prevent its self-destruction. We must get our eyes off the world and on Him!
Not Yet Resisted unto Bloodshed
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:2–4
We would do well to add these verses to our memory bank. We have not yet resisted to bloodshed, as Jesus did. In other words, “man up” and tough it out! Instead of complaining, why not try praising God through the hard times as the Scriptures exhort us to do?
This is where character is weightier than circumstance. Charles Swindoll said, “The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” Our enemy would love for us to flow in the channel of the world, letting our mouths and minds run down the same course of despair and ingratitude that the children of disobedience spew out daily.
We need to set a guard on the door of our mouth. Out of our mouths should flow God’s love and hope, rather than fear and despair. The negativity of the world is God’s marketing plan to open up doors of evangelism.
I have noticed an exciting by-product of changing my attitude—my witnessing desires and opportunities have skyrocketed! When we are filled with the good news of redemption and the coming kingdom, then that is what will come out of us! It’s also amazing how much more freedom I have to be myself when I am reflecting the glory of the Lord instead of the trash of the world!
There are no answers outside of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Every time you hear someone complain, it’s just like an invitation to witness to them. Don’t hide your light under the basket, but put it up on the candlestick. So, speak up man! Speak out the promises of God—not the rhetoric of the world!
The Time is Now
Those who have read and believed the Bible have probably anticipated, as I have, a time of social decline and economic duress like we are experiencing now. The Bible has clearly testified that these things would come to pass (1 Timothy 4:1ff; Revelation 18). I’ve often mentally played out what I would do during these days when they came and have recently realized that we are in the beginning of them! My training and mental preparation need to kick in now. Now is the time to sight in my spiritual rhema rifle (my mouth), so that it will target and accurately shoot the enemy and not my friends! If we join in the fray of spewing negative news around our campfires, we will be shooting “friendly fire” instead of engaging in righteous, spiritual warfare.
We can only think one thought at a time. If we flood our thoughts with the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, then it will be much easier for those thoughts to be Truth, rather than spewed-out lies from the evil one. This is a decision that each of us must make. Only you can choose to live this way—no one else can choose it for you.
We need to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. For me, this includes the Word of God written in the heavens. There are secrets revealed in those sacred truths that were penned long before the Bible existed, and many of those secrets have to do with our present (and future) time.
Our Redemption Draws Near
What are we prepared to do and go through to see the Son of Man coming in His glory? Rather than looking down, let’s lift up our heads and eyes because our redemption draws near.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:27–28
In the face of hard times, determine to shut up and man-up. Choose now to put an end to negative, demonically influenced confessions. God does not like to hang out with gripers and complainers; He inhabits the praises of His people. Let our lips offer sacrifice and praise to God. As we do this, angels will start hanging out with us, blessings will overtake us, the joy of the Lord will be our strength, and we will be lights in the darkness for those who are looking for The Way.
So while the birth pangs of the future Kingdom are making things difficult for you, rather than fainting in the day of adversity, be strengthened by His might and power!
I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. Psalm 71:16
© Copyright 2009 by Liberating Ministries for Christ International, Inc.