By Pastor Mark Jordan
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” (Proverbs 24:16, NLT)
Wow, I needed this today. Recently, I went through an assessment of my life with all it’s triumphs and tragedies. When I devolved into a pity party, I felt like there was more stumbling than striding; that isn’t the case, though.
When Solomon wrote that the godly may trip seven times, he was describing something much more than a number. In Scripture, the number seven refers to completion and perfection; therefore, when it says the godly may trip seven times, it is essentially saying your flailing and falling is complete and perfect. Can you relate? Fortunately, the proverb doesn’t end there…not at all! Solomon says that though the godly can make a total and complete mess of things, they get back up. It’s all about perseverance.
Perseverance is persistence, despite difficulties and delays. For the godly, this means knowing that the worst thing that can ever happen to you will never be the last thing that happens to you. It is faith that God has you, and is working together everything for good for those who love Him. James 1:12 teaches, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (NIV). Those who do not have faith in God’s eternal plan lack the perspective to know that one fall isn’t the end, but a fresh opportunity to try again. As Pope John XXIII wrote, “Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do.”
I think it’s important to add a caveat here. Solomon did not refer to failure here, just tripping. Failure carries a finality with it, doesn’t it? I love the Thomas Edison quote, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” As great of a quote as that is, I want to leave you with the immortal wisdom of the great theologian, Rocky Balboa; may these words remind us never to quit when we trip, because God doesn’t quit on you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for not quitting on my when I trip. Help me when I trip to not quit on you. I need your powerful perseverance in my life, and pray for it in the name of Jesus. Amen.