If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small – Proverbs 24:10

So far, I’ve failed each time I hit adversity. This proves my strength is small. And so like you, I want to grow my strength. The question then is how do you grow strength? The unfortunate answer is that growing in strength comes through suffering. Let me explain by telling you a personal story. I was once consumed with success, obsessed with climbing up the corporate ladder as soon as possible. Possessed with ambition, I wanted to make a lot of money in the quickest way possible. And I started doing just that. I worked so hard, I didn’t have time to spend the money that came in. As a result, the money began to pile up and I could barely keep up with it. But then I noticed also that temptations that were once beyond my reach began to open up. It felt like I could go unhindered, anywhere. That I could buy unrestricted, anything. And indulge I did.

But then tragedy hit. In a minute, I lost everything. The knot I felt in my stomach the moment I learned all was lost is indescribable. I agonized over the adversity I suffered through the week, but allowed myself go through the pain. I did not take any short cuts like: drinking my sorrows away, or putting it into a “box” in my mind and refusing to open it. It was difficult yet it was the greatest inner growth I had yet encountered. I came out of that situation knowing once again, that God will always come through. Trusting that He will never leave nor forsake me. My faith in His ability and in His presence grew. My perspective of life grew from a mere arena for money making to an appreciation of life itself. I grew from a lust for having everything I wanted to an appreciation of wanting the things I do have. I grew from competing and fighting with anyone I perceived to be an enemy of my progress, to living peaceably with all men as much as is in my power.

You see, I still don’t like to suffer, but I am more tolerant of pain now because I know it is an opportunity, a catalyst if you will, to grow strength. But you have to allow yourself go through the pain. Are you currently going through a divorce?  Have you lost a loved one? Have you lost your job? Have you been betrayed? Don’t deny yourself the painful emotions you feel. Don’t drink your pain away. Don’t numb your pain with denial. Allow yourself go through the full measure of pain. You will come through it. This too shall pass.  Jesus Christ will be with you all the way growing your strength. You will not be the same shallow person you were when adversity started. Instead, you will grow deep roots. Your strength will no longer be small, it will be enlarged greatly.