Psalm 34:17-19The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all”
When we became Christians, what did we expect would happen to our lives?
We would have a clear purpose and direction to follow. We would have peace in our hearts, being filled with joy every waking moment. We would develop more sincere and pure relationships. These are definitely aspects in our lives that will develop as we walk with Jesus, following His lead each day.
However when we became Christians, did we think life would be tougher; seemingly filled with more challenges and troubles?
Not Exempt From Trouble
It doesn’t take long for Christians to realise that they are not exempt from the troubles and pains of life. In fact, we are faced with challenges that the world is ignorant to. In responding to God’s call for us to obey and live for Him, we are faced with daily struggles and opposition of our sinful nature, Satan, and this depraved world. We should not expect to be exempt from troubles, but know that God is always with us and will deliver us from them as we follow Him. That is a hope that all Christians can claim with absolute confidence! God has promised to lead us along a good path – that doesn’t mean an easy one.
There was a period in my life where, for about two to three years, I faced some of my greatest trials. I faced a relentless storm filled with loneliness, despair and insecurity that had threatened to engulf me on numerous occasions. If I am to be blatantly honest, there had been many times when I had felt completely broken, wallowing in tears of self-pity and sorrow. However, then I realised how good and faithful God had been to me. I remembered the path He had called me to travel and the relationships He would have me develop and nurture. I remembered the good and fruitful work He had for me to do. I remembered His promises to me of fulfilment, peace and eternal security.
Change of Focus
I took my focus off myself and put it on God, my heart was filled with joy! My sorrow then turned to thankfulness for this tumultuous struggle because it had drawn me closer to God then I had ever been. Every time I cried out in pain and confusion, God graciously touched me in some way, giving me what I needed to push on. He has taught me that His purpose for my life is based firstly on holiness and not happiness. Despite being unhappy many times during those two to three years, I am truly thankful and in awe of how good and gracious God was in teaching and developing me through it. It had been one of the most fruitful and blessed periods of my life.
If we look back over our lives, when were the times we drew closest to God, and grew the most?
What have been our attitudes in times of trouble and confusion?
Let’s use those times to draw closer to God. Let’s be honest with Him about how we feel and ask what He would have us learn. Let’s claim His promise that He will deliver us, walking confidently in His presence, boldly trusting and obeying Him despite the circumstances.
That is faith in action! That brings joy to God’s heart and He will bless us for it. So when troubles come, look up and never lose hope… for we have the Master at work in our lives!
I love the reality that God is not intimidated by our emotions–that He is ever asking (as He did in Is. 1:18), “Come and reason with me.” How beautiful the quest for identity is when we lose ours in His!
Thanks for your comment Chrystal. I love reading through Psalms and seeing David wrestling with God, not being afraid to be vulnerable and honest about his feelings. God doesn’t want us to be fake with Him but approach Him with a honest heart. Then we realise even more how much more we need to rely on His grace to transform our lives.