How to Get Tough! by Pastor Tim Burt

Proverbs 24:10 “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”

A human being is a complex creature. We are complex because we are made of spirit, a soul, and a body. Our spirit is where God converses with us. Our soul is made up of our mind and emotions. Our body, well, that’s pretty obvious. What makes us complex is that in any of these three areas that make up our total being, we can be weak or strong. We can have a body that looks like a body builder or we can have a body that is quite weak and out of shape. We can have a mind that is sharp, intelligent, strong and under control, or we can be lazy in our mind and watch too many thoughts bounce randomly and out of control from life’s pressures and stress. We can have a strong spirit that is filled and steadfast to the counsel and promise of God’s Word and the cause of Christ, or we can walk in the light of salvation but be of little value in helping anyone else in their walk with Christ.

It really is God’s best to develop strength in all these areas. A truth that most people don’t know is that if you work to develop a strong spirit, you will end up developing strength in the other two areas.

Over the years, today’s Fresh Manna verse, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small,” has been a measuring rod to me about the present strength of my spirit man. Years ago, I considered myself a spiritual weakling! There has been far too many times where I had “fainted” or temporarily given up when I had no business giving up. I remember there were many when I had decided to spend half the day fasting about something I considered important. At the first sign of hunger, I’d cave in, blow the fast and eat. That sounds terrible doesn’t it? I hate to admit it but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’ve changed and developed a stronger spirit.

There were times when I knew God was dealing with me about spending more time in the Bible, or reading a book about a biblical subject that I knew He wanted me to grow in. Instead I’d cave in to something that my flesh desired more like mindless television shows. There had been times where God wanted me to talk to someone about Him and for whatever reason I didn’t do it.

God has helped me over the years. He has shown me a very important truth to gaining strength. He has shown me that strength primarily comes two ways. One is by feeding on good things. The other is through exercising resistance. Feeding on good things, whether it be your spirit, soul or body, will help invigorate you, create energy, and will increase your appetite for more good things. The opposite of this is also true. Resistance is the other way you create strength. Concerning your spirit man, the effort that you exert to resist temptation and sin builds the strength to do what is right.

With your body, it is resistance that creates muscle mass. When you lift weights you are actually creating resistance against your muscles resulting in increased strength. In your mind, caving in to tormenting, fearful, or sinful thoughts in stressful times weakens your mind. Resisting thoughts that oppose God’s Word and instead focusing on God’s promises creates a strong mind. 1 Pet 1:13 says, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind …” This means strengthen by exercising or tightening up like a belt. 2 Cor. 10:5 goes on to tell us that we can further strengthen our minds by “casting down arguments and every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

It’s really quite a simple plan. Feed on good things consistently and resist the enemy in your life. Even small efforts on a consistent basis can have a powerful effect. Learning to resist Satan and temptation by saying the simple word “no” can be powerful and life changing. Learning to dictate and demand your flesh to do what it doesn’t want to do by saying “oh yes you will,” can be powerful and life changing. The key is just to be consistent with it day in and day out and starting with the smaller things first. (Don’t declare a three day fast when you know that for you a three hour fast would be miraculous). First get consistent in praying for God’s help. That will keep you focused on what you what to gain strength in. It will also keep you at the throne of God for the grace He desires to give you. The grace of God will help you with consistency if you truly seek Him for it. If you find that you faint at the first sign of resistance, your strength is small. Don’t let it condemn you. Let it simply be a measuring rod and say, “Okay Lord, I can see that I have little or no strength in this area. With your help, I am going to feed on things that are good in this area and I am going to practice resisting those things I need to resist. By your grace, I will be consistent in what I should do.” What ever it is you are resisting, do it long enough and the principle of scripture is: it will eventually flee from you and you will be strengthened in your resisting. Try it today. In God, you are tougher than you think!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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