10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
It is natural to overestimate your strength when things are going well, but the true test comes in times of trouble. Have you put your confidence in your wealth, success, or health – which are vulnerable to the storms of life? Having your foundations shaken is painful, but it is also an opportunity to grow in wisdom. “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
While suffering is perhaps the greatest test of character, the second great test is avoidable responsibility. While the former relates to the command to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength,” the latter arises from the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Do you see your neighbor heading towards danger? Don’t leave it to someone else to rescue him – take advantage of the opportunity and do it yourself. The Lord has given us the dignity of being his agents in the world, in blessing others we honor him. Do not worry about what it will cost you, because the cost of doing nothing is even greater.