The Day of Crisis
Proverbs 24:10-12 “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver those who are drawn unto death and those who are ready to be slain.“
- Proverbs 24:10 there is a play on the word adversity (Hebrews “tsarah”) = “distressful (severe trouble, mental pain), constricting, narrowing, pressure-packed,” and small (Hebrews “tsar”) = “narrow.” Because of the “constricting” nature of adversity, our smallness (“narrow corridor”) of strength amplified the situation, thus resulting in “fainting” = Disheartened, a sense of Hopelessness.
- Proverbs 24:11-12 set forth situations where the character of the Person is tested. The obligation to receive the Person who is being overwhelmed by situation is set forth. Any attempt to avoid the responsibilities for deliverance in such situations is unacceptable. One may not hypocritically plead ignorance. The God who knows us will “render to every man according to his works.”
- King Solomon reminds us that the time of crisis is in reality a test of strength, an opportunity for the Person to demonstrate his mettle. Strength neutralized by pressure is weakness. For the Person who cannot show strength to cope, endure, or produce while under pressure and in difficulty is perhaps physical weakling.
Waiting on God
The Answer to Fainting is Prayer (Luke 18:1) and Waiting on the LORD (Isaiah) – Isaiah 40:28-31 “Hast thou not known? Has, thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to those who have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
- Abraham Lincoln once confided: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of those around me seemed insufficient for the day.”
- Good Decision – A popular story concerns a successful Executive retiring after much Fruitful Leadership. His Young Replacement nervously asked, “Sir, to what do you attribute your Success?” His quick response was “Good Decisions!” And how, sir, did you know how to make Good Decisions? That’s simple, son, by Experience.” Please, sir, where does this Experience come from? “From Bad Decisions,” was his honest reply. Leaders learn from their Mistakes.
Mind – Area of Fainting
Hebrews12:3“For consider Him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (opposition) of Sinners (sinful men) against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
The Issue – “Wearied” = Sick (James 5:15; Fainting, Revelation 2:3). Weariness is a sudden breakdown in Endurance. “Faint” = Despond, become exhausted, or slack in one’s mind:
- A more gradual relaxation in vigilance
- Mental Depression can lead to psychological loss of determination and even physical fatigue and sickness.
- Discouragement is not a single moment but over a period of time, with a gradual slackening of resolve
The Meditation – The Corrective for Weariness and Fainting is an ever deepening consideration of the Humiliation and Sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ in comparison with our Own Sufferings:
- In considering our Lord Jesus Christ we must have regard to the Infinite Glory of His Person, the depth of the humiliation to which He suffered both under the cruelty of man, and the wrath of God, and the perfection of the example of meekness, quietness and constancy with which He endured all.
- Meditations of our Lord’s humiliation and sufferings will strengthen our courage and support our faith and the solace of our hearts.
Peace of Mind – – In his bestseller, “Peace of Mind,” Joshua Liebman tells of his experience as a young man. He listed the supreme goods in his life and took them to a Wise Mentor. When he showed him the list, he expected to be praised for his precocity (maturity). His list included such values as love, health, riches, talent, beauty and friends. The Wise Old Mentor pondered the list, then with a twinkle in his eye, reached for a pencil. He drew a line through each item on the list and then said: “Young man, you may have all of these, but they will turn out to be your enemies instead of friends unless you have the one and most important thing you missed.” Then he wrote on the paper, “the gift of an untroubled mind.” – Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”
The Answers to Weariness and Fainting are:
- Prayer (Luke 18:1).
- Waiting on the LORD (Isaiah 40:31).
- Considering the Humiliation and Sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:3).
- Not weary and faint not in Well-doing = Rewards (Galatians 6:9).