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14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, â€¨But who can bear a broken spirit? 

There is a plethora of advice available for handling hard times.  Plethora is my big word for the week.   

This advice can run the gamut from essential oils to exercise to meditation, and then it can get weird. 

Everyone deals with hard times.  And everyone is looking for the secret, the key, that magic bullet to making hard times not quite so hard.   

Here in this simple verse is great insight.  Our spirit, inner man often called the heart, is a major factor in handling life's difficulties.  When we are strong in our spirit, we can endure at a much greater level.  Even sickness becomes less of a burden when we are strong on the inside.  Not that being strong of spirit makes problems go away.  The word sustain means to keep a supply in a time of famine, to maintain a course in a time of judgment.  Both definitions convey the idea that things are not good, yet there is help, strength, and resources.  

The latter half of the proverb gives us the other side, a broken spirit who can bear.  A crushed, wounded spirit will not help in a time of trouble.   

It's important that our inner life is strong in order to handle our outward life.  We spend a great amount of time looking at our lives from a physical and a mental perspective, don't forget the spirit. 



Becoming stronger in our spirit is one of our primary goals as a church.  We want to help people develop in this area.  Too often, when people encounter hard times, they tend to pull away from the very things that produce spiritual strength.  They stay out of the church, stop reading their chapters in the Bible, and don't pray.  These are the things that help to produce spiritual strength.  Focusing on the hurt or the problem may seem to be the easiest path, but it can lead to a hurt wounded spirit.   

Since you are reading or listening to this devotional, you are doing something to get stronger spiritually.  Just don't back off.  Keep doing the things that produce spiritual strength.  It may not appear to be the easy way, but in hard times you'll be so much more ready, and you'll keep going when others have quit.   



Help me to stay on a path of spiritual strength, Lord.  You have given me everything I need to live brave, not broken.