Thursday, July 25, 2019

When Trouble Comes - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles

For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 

I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. Psalm 86:7 NLT

The email sat in my inbox, longing to be opened.

I had emailed friends in Nova Scotia for an update on their church plant. The last wasn’t very encouraging, so I prayed for a more uplifting report. It wasn’t.

Things moved at a snail’s pace. A few people responded to the invites, but not as many as they had hoped for. They planned to begin small groups, but were anxious about anyone showing up. In the spring, they planned to begin one preview service each month and continue through the summer with regular weekly meetings slated for the fall.

Personal finances were challenging. The pastor was looking for secular work to supplement his family’s income. The church budget was behind fifty percent, and could fall further He desired to grow relationships with others but realized it would take time, sacrifice, love, patience, and wisdom.

Yet, my friend in Halifax expected God’s intervention. The psalmist did too. Both my friend and the psalmist appeared to travel dead-end roads. I’ve been on a few myself, and I’m always tempted to ask; “Where’s this going?” or “God does this have some purpose?” I don’t like trouble and try not to invite it, but it has a habit of appearing nevertheless.

Sometimes, I trip up, trying to determine trouble’s source when my response is more important. There’s nothing like a little correction fluid when I make decisions harming myself or others. Or when I choose actions damaging my testimony. The trouble is God designs His discipline to make me sit up, take notice, and change directions.

But trouble’s not always bad. It also shapes and molds. It teaches me valuable lessons about myself, others, God, and the world. Trouble prunes me, increases my wisdom, and strengthens my trust in God to care for me. Without it, I would depend on myself. With it, I remember He’s in control. And after all, it’s God’s road, not mine.

When trouble comes, cry out to God. Asking why is permissible, but pondering a wise course of action and learning are more productive.

Prayer: God of mercy, when You allow trouble in our life, give us grace to endure and wisdom to learn what You’re teaching us. 

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1 comment:

  1. I pray that in troubled times and in good times, I will always go to Him first. :-)