“I had fainted unless…” Psalm 27:13
“FAINT NOT!” How great is the temptation at this point! How the soul sinks, the heart grows sick, and the faith staggers under the keen trials and testings which come into our lives in times of special bereavement and suffering. “I cannot bear up any longer, I am fainting under this providence. What shall I do? God tells me not to faint. But what can one do when he is fainting?”
What do you do when you are about to faint physically? You cannot do anything. You cease from your own doings. In your faintness, you fall upon the shoulder of some strong loved one. You lean hard. You rest. You lie still and trust. It is so when we are tempted to faint under affliction. God’s message to us is not, “Be strong and of good courage,” for He knows our strength and courage have fled away. But it is that sweet word, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Hudson Taylor was so feeble in the closing months of his life that he wrote a dear friend: “I am so weak I cannot write; I cannot read my Bible; I cannot even pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.” This wondrous man of God with all his spiritual power came to a place of physical suffering and weakness where he could only lie still and trust.
And that is all God asks of you, His dear child, when you grow faint in the fierce fires of affliction. Do not try to be strong. Just be still and know that He is God, and will sustain you, and bring you through.
“God keeps His choicest cordials for our deepest faintings.” (Streams in the Desert)
Throwing in the towel is not the same as raising a white flag of surrender. Quitting is temporary insanity; a completely self-absorbed decision that refuses to acknowledge its consequences on anyone but ourselves. God never tells us to stand down; instead, He instructs us repeatedly to surrender. I may despair, but I cannot relinquish hope when I am abandoned to Christ. Momentary frustration or disappointment does not lead to resignation when I trust my future as well as my past to Grace.
“Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, ‘Well, what about this?’ If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, ‘I will give your life to you as a prize….’ The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything— they have not been given their life ‘as a prize.’ The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life.” (Oswald Chambers)