Proverbs 24:15-22: Resilience.(click here for passage)
‘’The destruction of evil men is sure (15, 16, 19, 20) but it is not to be received with vindictive delight by the righteous man.’’ A.E. Cundall.
As someone said, we should never speak of Hell except we have tears in our eyes.
The judgment to come on wicked people is a repeated theme in these verses. But at the heart of the passage there is a wonderful statement about the resilience of the righteous:
‘’…for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.’’ (16a).
‘’No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.’’ The Message.
It’s like God’s people are made of spiritual rubber. They bounce back. They persevere. They endure. They just keep going. This is a wonderful God-given quality. I am not saying that every believer proves to be equally resilient, but certainly everyone, in Christ, can be.
Recent scientific studies into resilience have shown the importance of having a core set of beliefs that help a person make sense of calamity. This is not the only factor, but it is vital. It’s not difficult to see how this point applies to ‘the righteous’. We believe in a sovereign God who overrules every detail of our lives for a higher purpose
In John Ortberg’s book, ‘Soul Keeping’, he writes about his high school friend’s mother called Betty:
‘’…she lived to be ninety years old. She never did anything extraordinary. She just raised four children. She just held her family together as her husband wrestled with manic- depressive disorder decade after decade, before there was medication, not knowing what she would come home to each day. She lived in the same small house in Rockford, Illinois, her whole life. She never travelled. She never bought an expensive dress or an upscale car. When she died, the chapel was packed. It was filled with lives that she had touched.’’ (p.60).
She could have felt sorry for herself. She could have hidden away under a shelter of self-pity. She could have retreated into depression. Instead she had an outward focus and was a blessing to many. She chose to serve and give. She followed the pathway of Jesus. She was resilient. (Hebrews 12:2-4)
Prayer: Lord Jesus you kept on going, even though it meant the way of the cross. Please give me your strength to glorify your Name by a life that endures.