If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Proverbs 24:10
The test of strength is adversity. When things get tough, you quickly find out how strong you really are. Anybody can guide a boat over smooth waters. But when the storm hits and the winds blow and the boat is rocked, only the strong can maneuver through the waves. The weak and fearful bail out. They take their empty professions of faith and go home. But the strong move forward with resolve.
The test of adversity is preparation. The reality is that you are either getting ready to go through a time of trouble; you are in a time of trouble; or you are just coming out of a time of trouble. We have to be prepared. We have to be in the Word gaining strength and wisdom. We have to be in worship--preparing our hearts. We have to be connected with other believers--no one is strong enough to go it alone. We have to be using our gifts--a lot of food and no exercise makes for a flabby Christian. We have to be telling others about Jesus. Adversity is the training camp of the soul.
The test of preparation is discipline. Becoming a Christian is a free gift. Growing as a Christian is hard work. It calls for sacrifice. Your time, talents, and treasures belong to God, not you. It calls for engaged minds and ignited hearts. It calls for rekindling the fire in your soul. Spiritual discipline is not self-sufficiency. It is the wisdom to latch on to the Source, be filled with His strength, and be controlled by His Spirit.
Father, don't let us falter in times of trouble. Hold us up and carry us through the hard times. Keep us strong. Help us to be prepared. Keep us disciplined. In Jesus' name. Amen.