Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Trouble

Are you in trouble today, my friend? Does your pain seem to be more than you can bear? Are the bills piling up, but the paychecks running dry? Do you see a mountain of responsibilities before you, yet feel you haven’t an ounce of strength to begin to do any of them?

Sometimes, we just want to run away from it all. Our flesh fails us, and we think that there is no escape from the pressures of needing to get things done in a body that refuses to cooperate. I don’t know what the source of your pain is, my friend, or how disabled you are today. But as for me, there are a few things I do know.

I know that the Lord will help me.  Psalm 46:1 says that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Read that carefully. It doesn’t say He will send help. It says that He Himself is our help! Imagine that. The Almighty God of the Universe is our help! How can we possibly fail? If He has called us to do something, He will enable us to do it! When we want to run away and hide, He Himself is our refuge, and He bids us come! So, when I need help, I run to my Savior in prayer, enjoy His sweet and loving embrace for a moment, and go and do the next thing, as He enables me.

I know that the Lord never changes, even when I can’t depend on my own strength.  Psalm 46:2 says that no matter what changes, even if the earth crumbles under my feet while a tidal wave washes over me, I don’t have to be afraid. Think of that. Imagine the mountains slipping into the sea and the earth quaking violently. That is a scary picture! But, in the same breath, my Lord tells me I have nothing to fear! Now, look at your pain and disability from that perspective. Though pain can be a fearful thing, and thoughts of our future can at times leave us trembling, our God is rock solid. He has been with us up to now, and will stay with us forever.

I know that the Lord loves me and sustains my faith, even when doubt creeps in. Psalm 94: 1 says, “I cried out, 'I am slipping!' but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." If I’m honest, I have to admit that I sometimes have doubts. Satan loves to put doubts in our minds, and He often uses our physical incapacity to raise the volume of those doubts. I believe he is the source of the thought that comes to my mind at times that says, “God couldn’t possibly have called you to ministry. If He had, He certainly wouldn’t have allowed such a setback! Your physical limitations are a sign that your calling wasn’t real, and God won’t use you.” When doubts like these enter my mind, this Psalm is a lifeline. God’s unfailing love supports me, and His comfort gives me new hope. I know that He can use me, in whatever physical condition I’m in, in whatever way He wants to! As long as my heart is in line with His, my body will do all that He calls me to do!

My dear friend, are you discouraged today? Take heart! If God wants something done, He will make a way! I can’t imagine a better closing argument for trusting God than this one, from Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”