“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
I opened my bible up during my prayer time Monday, and these are the first of two verses that popped out.
Proverbs 24:10-11 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to slaughter.
I have to tell you, this startled me. You know the feeling, when something so suddenly hits you that you are instantly wide awake. Like getting doused with cold water. Yeah, that’s what it was like. I have been writing a lot about children who wander away from the faith. It has me thinking a lot about my own children.
It actually gives me great reason to have hope. Why? Because God speaks to us supernaturally through scripture. The very words of our bibles are God-breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit. We can’t get any more sure of what God is communicating to us than what he has given to us in his written word. And sometimes he makes a special point of showing us exactly what he wants us to know.
That was the case with this verse. I’m encouraged by it for a couple of reasons. One, I instantly knew that this was about my children. What was the word that gave me hope?
This gives me hope. Great hope. One that I can refer back to when I get discouraged. One that I should make a special note of in my journal. One that I should have close at hand to remind me regularly so that I might not get discouraged. In fact, I made notation of the date and what happened in my bible so that it would stand out. I even made note to refer to today’s blog so one day my girls might look it up and know exactly what it meant. (Hi, Girls!)
Now, these words are certainly no guarantee or promise that rescue efforts will succeed. Proverbs are not intended to be promises; they are guiding principles. Even so, I’ve had this type of scenario happen before, and I’ve come to know that God sometimes communicates in this way to me. Unsolicited, his word, out of the blue, with a sudden awareness. That’s what I’m counting on. My prodigals will come home.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
My mother was given hope like this for her kids through Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Now, this doesn’t promise salvation for families of every believer, but God has somehow impressed upon my mother that he will indeed save HERS. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. So far, she’s two for four. Both of us were 44 years old before it happened, so why not the other two? One thing is certain, my mother has a firm hope and faith that they one day will believe.
The other thing about my passage was that it encouraged me to keep working on my girls and not give up.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
Frankly, I have been feeling plenty weak in all this, and this would seem to discourage rather than encourage me. But it didn’t. Why? My strength isn’t small. Oh, please don’t misunderstand. My strength is very small, indeed, but let me share some verses with you.
Psalm 18:29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
If I look at myself as the old me, yes, my strength is small. However, if I look at myself as God sees me in light of Jesus and the cross, I shall not faint in the day of adversity. My strength is spiritual and for supernatural purposes. It all depends on where I place my focus.
So, even though my daughters reject the gospel, I shall nonetheless incorporate it into my interaction with them, not just in my actions but in my words as well. Not as a club to force them but rather to lure them.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Romans 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Please don’t misunderstand, the gospel is the entirety of it – warnings and blessings. This revelation of mine impressed upon me that I don’t have to be afraid to present the entire gospel to them and that, indeed, I must present it in its entirety. They already know the gospel. What God has impressed upon me is that I can present it all AND yet do so in a manner that won’t provoke them to anger. I need not be afraid that they will reject me because I present the full gospel, but I still can be wise in how I do it. I have faith that God will guide me in this provided I listen.
I don’t know if that makes sense. I guess what I’m really trying to share is how cool God is in the way he touches us in special ways. This is my latest chapter.
Father, I thank you for your kindness. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers