“For a righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” (Proverbs 24:16, ESV)
We’ve all been there! We’ve started some sort of diet only to hop off of the wagon when we pass the first donut shop.
We’ve all been there! We’ve started a new plan for reading the Bible for some designated period of time … only to fall behind so early that we abandon the plan in disappointment.
We’ve all been there! We’ve started the New Year with the usual resolutions to eat better, read better, exercise better, sleep better and work better only to see those resolutions gather cobwebs due to a lack of diligence.
We’ve all been there! We see some worthwhile project around the house or property that we can do, only to find out it required much more than we thought and quit.
Yes, we’ve all been there!
Spiritually speaking we’ve all had our moments of “little faith!”
And it is in those moments … if we fail to get our focus back where it needs to be … we become prisoners in our own dungeon of discouragement … cellmates with loneliness … friends with spiritual impotency … and our lives can spin out of control like a fast carnival ride!
The voice of our adversary is not shy! He whispered in the ear of the Son of God … and he continues in his quest to either retain or regain our souls!
I want to share with you a story that actually happened a number of years ago. We had been studying the Bible together for several weeks using the Jule Miller Filmstrips as a basic guide. Finally, as we were talking I could see he was struggling with the clear message of our studies and of his need to obey the Lord’s will.
I suggested that we go for a walk … which we did. We sat down on a park bench and I said, “Ok, let’s talk … what’s going on?” His response was classic, “I know what I need to do … I just don’t think I can live up to what God wants!”
Have you ever had thoughts like that? Many of us have, actually! So, what would you have said to him?
Here’s what I said to him, “You’re right! You can’t live up to His expectations on your own! None of us can! But with His help, you can, and will all along your journey through life. ‘Our God will never leave you or forsake you!’” (Hebrews 13:5)
He looked at me with a gleam in his eyes and tears rolling down his rough cheeks and said, “I am ready to obey the gospel!”
We kept in touch for the longest time … but as is often the case … we lost contact with both him and his family as they moved around with his construction work. I don’t know if he is even alive now. I don’t know if he has stayed faithful to the Lord.
But this I do know … each of us can faithfully finish our walk on this earth … by choosing to listen to the right voice … the voice of God revealed in His precious Book. I know that if we will choose to walk with the Lord every step of the way that when we stumble … and we will … He will be there to help us back up on our feet!
The unsettling part is that Satan is right there to and he is whispering “you can’t make it … you’re not worthy … it’s not worth it … no one really cares … etc.” And sadly too many listen to him rather than to the Lord!
God did not set any of us up to fail!
And He will be there to quietly reassure us through the comfort of His Word … to keep going … stay focused on the prize … and be resolved to give it our very best so that we can hear in the end, “well done, My good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
So when you stumble next … not if … but when rise up and “go to your Father!” (Luke 15:18)
The One who saved us first … is there to save us still!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.