For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Proverbs 24:16
Whether it’s managing your time, being a godly spouse, or being faithful in your ministry, one of the hardest things to do is get back up after you fall.
It’s difficult enough to keep your momentum when everything’s going well. But to get back going after failure is a challenge that derails the best of us. The wasted time between failure and trying again is the killer of our days and dreams.
Proverbs 24:15-1615 Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
The traditional interpretation of this verse is that adversity comes upon a righteous man, but he triumphs eventually.
Based on verse 15, it seems that the righteous man falls because of the plots of the wicked. But is that the only reason that the righteous could fall? Perhaps we can apply this verse to a man’s failures – even failures due to his own sin.
The standard for righteousness in this verse is not the absence of failure or trials. Failure, in some sense, is inevitable. It’s how you react to it that matters.
The righteous man gets back up. Again and again, the righteous man rises. The wicked stumbles and stays down.
The Source of Rising Again
Why does the righteous man rise?
Is the man righteous because he gets back up? Or does he get back up because he’s righteous?
Or a better question – whose power is causing the righteous man to rise?
This verse is not indicating that the righteous man pulls himself by his own bootstraps and keeps going, going, and going. No – it is God who works within the man to give him the strength to continue. It is God who orients the circumstances around the righteous man to make a comeback possible.
Action on Our Part
But notice this verse doesn’t say that the righteous man sits in a lounge chair while troubles come and go. Despite the fact that the Lord is at work to raise the man up again, there is nothing passive about this verse.
This man fell. This man got back up. There is action. There is movement. There is some form of involvement and participation on the part of the righteous man.
Jesus healed a crippled man, telling him to take up his mat and walk. The healing came from Jesus, but it was the man that got up. It was the man that rose.
What if the man had waited a week to get up?
The power to rise was given to him immediately. Why would he delay claiming that healing?
It’s the same with us. The God who healed the lame gives us the power to rise again from our failures. Why put that off?
Take up your mat and walk. Right now.