Psalm 34:17-19 The 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 you became a Christian, what did you expect would happen to your life?
That you would:
– have a clear purpose and direction to follow,
– have peace in your heart, being filled with joy every waking moment,
– 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 you became a Christian, did you ever once think life would be tougher; seemingly filled with more challenges and troubles?
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 the daily struggles and opposition of our sinful natures’, 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 down a good path – but, that doesn’t mean an easy path.
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 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 remembered 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. When 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 time of my life.
When I look back over my life, I see now that these difficult periods were the times I drew closest to God, and grew the most?
What has been your attitude in times of trouble and confusion? Use those times to draw closer to God. Be honest with Him about how you feel and ask what He would have you learn. Claim His promise that He will deliver you, 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 you for it. So when troubles come, look up and never lose hope… for we have the Master at work in our lives!
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A book which greatly helped me at such a time was Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ “Spiritual Depression”. Very, very helpful!