WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE?

January 31, 2024

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE?

 
 
I have a deep friend who is in a very tough situation. It’s one of those moments when you are being attacked on every side, and it seems there are no viable solutions. There seems to be no way out.
 
I HAVE BEEN THERE
I have experienced such situations in my life. I went through two long, excruciating battles for the soul of two churches. Holly and I had death threats in one and lies were told about us beyond belief. I had many hard, sleepless nights.
 
I’ve faced the failures of a father I loved and its excruciating effect on my mother. I’ve lost a 10-year-old grandson and faced some debilitating health challenges. There's hardly a tough staff situation that we haven't encountered. The list goes on. You don’t want me to rehearse it all, but each of these seasons was phenomenally important in my walk with the One-Who-Sees-All.
 
But it was (and is) in those moments when we find God. I counsel people to read the Psalms voraciously in such seasons because they were written by a man who had been there … and found God there. “There is no pit so deep, but that God is deeper still,” Betsy Ten Boom told her sister, Corrie.
 
PSALM 31
… is a Psalm you should memorize. David is in deep despair. He was besieged by godless enemies. He had made some mistakes in the process. Even committing outright sin. His lament is deep and telling.
 
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress. My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing. My strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away. Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances. Those who see me in the street flee from me. I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind. I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many. Terror is on every side while they took counsel together against me. They schemed to take away my life. (Psalm 31:9-13)
 
WHERE DO YOU TURN?
But notice a very important pronoun: “You.” He uses that word and its derivatives 33 times in 24 verses as he cries out to the only One who can save Him. It's the one pronoun that makes all the difference. There was One who was bigger than all his enemies and greater than all his sin. Simply look at the first five verses.
 
In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge. Let me never be ashamed. In Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly. Be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress. For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me. You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit. You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. (Psalm 31:1-5)
 
There is no other hope or help when you’re in trouble. Whether it is a trouble that has come upon you in your innocence by godless men or trouble you’ve lent a hand to by your own choices or even by deliberate sin. There is nowhere else to turn but to the Eternal YOU.
 
You may discover that God allowed this moment to bring you to fresh desperation and fresh dependence upon Him. To bring you back. To show you His unending mercy and perfect faithfulness. To train you and equip you to help many others in the future. To give you a fresh taste of your sinfulness and His forgiveness. To humble you and remind you of who must be in charge. Whatever it is, if you look to Him, they will be a stunning testimony that will bless you and ultimately be used to bless others and glorify God. The end of David’s cry is a statement of why David looked to God and God alone.
 
How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man. You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:19-24)
 
It ended well for this man who looked to God. It always does.
 




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