“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
As I observe postmodern America, I see a dramatic erosion of mental strength and resilience. Based on that observation, I was prompted last week to post the following question on Twitter and LinkedIn:
“What is happening to our resilience? Are we losing the inner strength to respond to challenges and navigate adversity? What is happening to our toughness? Are we getting soft? Are we becoming emotionally fragile because we are so dependent on the sanitized comforts of modern life?”
The world in which we live desperately needs to see what resilience looks like. It would be awesome if the world could look to the church.
The proverb quoted above challenges us with something very important about life in Christ: When you face adversity, trust God and don’t flinch. Let me say that again: When you are in the storm, trust God and don’t flinch. Be resilient.
If you try to deal with life’s difficulties on your own, if you attempt to be strong by yourself, you will flinch, you will faint, and you will fail. Why? Because by yourself, your strength is too small.
Resilience is the ability to overcome obstacles, solve problems, and bounce back from difficult situations. Christians are redeemed by grace, and we have access to the strength and power of the risen Christ. Because of this, it is essential that we seek the Lord for the strength to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges and difficulties.
Resilient Christians look adversity in the face and say, “This is going to be a big challenge. It’s confusing, it hurts, it’s painful, it’s difficult, and I’m going to trust God’s grace and truth, and I will navigate through it. I can do this through Christ who strengthens me.”
Resilient Christians pray boldly and approach the throne of grace with confidence. They know the Lord understands us and he understands the situation, even if we do not.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4.14.1-16)
For me, battling stage 4 cancer has been a tremendous blessing because it has drawn me ever closer to the Lord and his grace. I rejoice in the midst of the pain, discomfort, and uncertainty because I know that I am being refined for his purposes in me and through me.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3.17-19)
The Lord is calling.