Tag Archives: Adversity

Talking To Trouble

“…They cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses” —Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28

Job 5:7 says, “man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Ain’t that the truth?! From the time we are born until we go to heaven, trouble will be reality in all of our lives. When trouble comes, we often feel helpless to do anything about it. We talk about our troubles. We cry about them. We whine about it, but the trouble remains (or gets worse!).

I’m glad I have a God who can talk to my troubles and do something about them.

Jesus talked to the troubled storm saying, “Peace, be still!” and the storm was calmed. Jesus talked to the trouble of physical infirmity saying, “Be thou clean,” and the infirmity was cleansed. Jesus talked to the sick of the palsy, “Arise,” and immediately he got up! Jesus talked to a troubled demoniac saying, “Come out of the man,” and his trouble left. Jesus talked to a troubled widow saying, “Weep not,” and her tears ceased. Jesus talked to the trouble of fear saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid,” fear departed.   Jesus talked to the trouble of death saying, “Lazarus come forth,” and death took a hike.

Are you encountering some kind trouble in your life? Why not ask Jesus to talk to your troubles? I assure you that nobody can talk to trouble like Jesus can!” Amen!

Psalm 46:1— “God is … a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 50:15— “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee.”

The Tenderized Heart

The Tenderized Heart

God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me.” —Job 23:16

God doesn’t bless hard-hearted people.  God uses people with a soft heart… a pliable heart… a tender heart.  David said, “my heart is like wax; it is melted…” (Ps. 22:14). “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart” (Ps. 34:18). “…a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

How does God soften our heart so He can use us?  Job answers in our text—By troubling us.  If anyone knew about trouble, it was Job. He had financial troubles (Job 1:9-17). He had the trouble of death in his family (1:18-22). He had trouble with disease in his flesh (2:4-10). He even had trouble from his so-called friends (19:14-19).

Job must have had a very tender heart.

Think of how you tenderize a piece of meat? You pound on it. Trouble, adversity, trials, suffering all will make your heart soft, if you don’t turn away from God during those times.

It isn’t because God doesn’t love you that He allows trouble in your life. On the contrary, He loves you enough to make your heart soft. He is not trying to hurt you—He is softening you so you can be tenderhearted towards others (see Heb. 2:18).

Climbing Hills

Climbing Hills

David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: —2 Samuel 15:30

David was a hill climber. In 2 Samuel 15, he climbed one of the biggest hills of his life.  It was not a physical hilltop. It was a hill of remorse due to the rebellion of his son Absalom.

We all have some hills to climb in the Christian life—Hills are a picture of difficulty. But there is help at the top of the hill (2 Sam. 16:1).

I love the cartoon of a stork trying to swallow a frog. The stork had the frog about half of the way down his throat, but the frog had it’s front legs wrapped around the stork’s neck. The caption read, “IT AIN’T OVER YET!”

never_give_up
“IT AIN’T OVER YET!”

Like that frog, there will be times when you will have to climb some steep hills of adversity. Your children will rebel; circumstances will change; people will turn against you; your heart will be broken.

We need what frog had—Don’t give up so easy. If you feel you are about to be swallowed alive by the trials of life, just wrap your legs around the neck of your problem and say, “IT AIN’T OVER YET!”

We’re not to GIVE UP, we’re candidates to GO UP!

We’re not to WEAR OUT, we’re supposed to WEAR ON!

We’re not to be QUITTERS, we’re supposed to be WINNERS!

Keeping climbing! Don’t quit.

A Positive Response To Negative Situations

A Positive Response To Negative Situations

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. — Philippians 1:25

     Paul maintained a positive outlook to what looked like negative circumstances in his life. His hardships, sufferings, and imprisonments lead to the gospel message going where it would not have gone otherwise.

When Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned at Philippi they sang praises at midnight.  Suddenly an earthquake shook prison and the prison doors were opened.  The Philippian Jailer was ready to take his life because he feared prisoners had fled.  But Paul and Silas called out and saved his life and lead him to Christ.  What convinced that hardened jailer to be saved?  It was how he observed Paul and Silas respond in a positive way to their adverse condition.

The difficulties we endure in life are opportunities for us to be a testimony of God’s grace before others. Some of the greatest lessons about the Lord and His grace have been taught to me by friends I know in how they respond positively to difficult situations in their life.  Instead of whining and complaining, they use their sorrows as opportunities in grow in the Lord and glorify Him!  As one author wrote, they don’t “waste their sorrows.”

We are preaching a sermon in our time of suffering.  What kind of message are you preaching when life gets hard?