Proverbs 24:10 If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!
I was reading out of Proverbs 24 with my group the other night and this one verse seemed to stand out for me. I noticed how James 1 and Romans 5 came to mind about facing trials through perseverance. My thoughts began with knowing that trouble is inevitable, and trials in life will happen. I thought about how I have reacted in times of trouble. I noticed how strong a message this little verse seemed to deliver.
If I falter in times of trouble, then am I weak? Do I lack strength when the hard times come and I crumble? Should I be preparing for trouble so that I may have the strength to stand? Wow! What is this verse saying to me? Here is what comes up for me around this passage. See what you think.
The first thing that comes to mind is the passage in I Corinthians 12:10 where the Apostle Paul is delighting in his weakness for it there that he is strong. The idea is that he has humbled himself to the point that Christ is his strength. He cannot boast in his own actions, but Christ living in him. Maybe I am to falter at times in order to lean on Christ Jesus. Maybe I am to know that I am human and not God through a time of trouble. So, sometimes my strength needs to be small.
Another thought for me is around preparation. I think about Jesus talking about when He will return. I think about how He does not even know the time of His return. So, His charge is “be ready”. I think that charge also inspires me to be prepared for times of trouble. I am not saying that I should look upon things in a negative light or live a life of fear of trouble. I am saying that I need to continue to prepare my heart for times of trial. The more I study, the more I practice God’s Word, and the more I train my heart and soul; the better prepared I become.
Still, another thought for me is around routine and repetition. As I prepare my heart and soul, I do so in a routine. I practice what I believe enough to feel strength and confidence in my faith. When I was an athletic coach, I practiced my teams through situations and routine. There were times where unapologetically, our practices were boring. We took routine groundball after routine groundball. The result of that routine and repetition was my teams could make the plays in games as if they were second nature. Because of that confidence, many times my players would make extraordinary plays. The other part of our practice would be spent on placing them into as many situations as possible in order to prepare them for just about any bad thing that could happen in a game. It was this kind of work that made my teams successful and able to work through adverse situations. The same goes for my life. I’ve seen it enough to have the strength to overcome.
Finally, I cannot discount the Holy Spirit of God living inside of me. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come and He lives inside of us when we believe in Jesus. That gives me strength when I feel I do not have strength. I am able to stand strong on the Spirit in times of trouble. I would venture to say that if my strength is small, it is because I am not relying on the Spirit.
It is through weakness, preparation, routine, repetition, and the Holy Spirit where I become strong enough to handle a time of trouble. My faith is partially based on this strength. Thank God that he has given me this gift.
1. How did this passage land for you?
2. What were your initial thoughts and reactions?
3. Where do you find your strength in time of trouble?
4. Give an example of a time of trouble where you faltered.
5. What did you learn from that time that may have created strength for the next time of trouble?
6. This week, look at your routine. Do you spend some time preparing for time of trouble? Maybe you do and just do not realize it.
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