If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Here in Canada there is a word that I’ve never heard used anywhere before. It’s a word that the last generation used when speaking of a person who doesn’t have much stamina or strength. I haven’t heard it used much by the coming generation. Webster’s dictionary lists “spleeny” and gives the definition “fretful”.
In professional sports, strength is measured by size. Sometimes it’s the number of inches around the biceps or pectoral muscles. Sometimes strength is measured be height and weight, or speed and agility. I haven’t head of this too many times lately but for a while there was a fad of measuring strength in “Iron-Man Contests”.
In verse ten of Proverbs twenty-four God tells us how He measures the strength of a man. God measures a man’s strength by how he stands the test of adversity. In His wisdom God didn’t have Sampson lead the whining, complaining, rebellious nation of Israel out of Egypt because God probably knew he couldn’t handle the adversity. God didn’t choose Jonathan to establish the kingdom of Israel because David had proved his strength in adversity.
The Apostle Paul when speaking of his “thorn-in-the-flesh” believed that God meant it to strengthen him and not to weaken.
(2 Cor 12:9-10) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Paul knew as we should learn from his epistles that our strength is in the Lord.
(Isa 40:29-31) He giveth power to the faint; and to them that 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 as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.