And the child grew and became strong in spirit… Luke 1:80.
An old time smithy worth his salt could judge how hot steel was as it changed colour in the fire. Gripping the iron or steel with tongs, he heated it in the furnace and when the colours crept down the blade and reached the precise tint, he drenched the hot iron in water or oil. Once heated then cooled, the metal becomes hard, but not strong. Tempering is a second heating process, used to toughen the steel while reducing the hardness. Any tool with a blade has to be tempered so it can be sharpened and hold its edge, otherwise it will be brittle and quit on you (like a cheap tool or knife).
Proverbs 24:10 says, If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place (The Message Bible). It’s so easy to quit when things get tough. A little too much pressure and we can snap like an untempered blade. How can we become strong in our spirit? The Holy Spirit strengthens our inner being (tempers our spirit), when we get serious about our spiritual priorities. We each have priorities, and we invest our thoughts, time and money in them. To be strong in spirit, our priorities need to be to love and live for Jesus Christ. As we grow strong in spirit, we will be able to stay standing when the heat is on.
Before the winds that blow do cease
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm
Before the pain has passed in peace
Give me my God to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fullness of enabling love.