Monday, May 22, 2023

When Troubles Assail

When Troubles Assail
by David Brenneman 

It doesn't take much sometimes for troubles to find us.  We often can be at peace, minding our own business, and out of the blue the storm attacks. 

I imagine Daniel was just minding his own business.  The people he had to work with were out to get him but he refused to live differently.  Refused to give in to the pressure. 

I imagine he might be remembering this passage or others like that one in his time praying.  "Don't be afraid, For I am with you. Do not be discouraged for I am your God".

He might have had thoughts that were troubling but wasn't going to show them. 
For me right now John 14:1 is one God reminded me of this morning.  "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in Me."

Daniel prayed for the sins of his people and for his own.  He prayed and gave thanks for the truths of God.  

God kept His promises to Daniel.  
Throughout my life, regardless of how agonizing life has gotten, God's kept His promises to me, to my Wife, to us.

I can see the things that are needs in our life that appear to be greater than my ability.  Truth says its not beyond His ability. 

I can decide to worry or choose to pray. 
I can wallow in all that is wrong or press on in what God gives me to do in spite of life's troubles. Paul preached to press on.

It matters not how things look. Jesus permitted those things and I will yet praise my Savior regardless of what my eyes see. 

When the storms came while Jesus was in the boat, He was sleeping. His Disciples woke Him and were in a panic. Jesus didn't join them in their panic. He didn't cry out to His Father asking why did you allow this!  He didn't cry out to His Father asking where was He when He needed Him. 

Jesus spoke "Peace, be still!" to the storm and it was so. He told the storm that He was God. 

My life might be in a storm but my blessings in Christ Jesus my Savior are far greater.  

Life hurts at times but it doesn't mean that Jesus stopped loving me or caring for me. 

Life might make no sense at all, but that's only my finite understanding of it. I don't know what all God is doing to me, through me, for me, near me, etc. Truth is were still to trust Him in the storm. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB. 

My understanding will deceive me because my understanding is flawed.
My understanding has limited knowledge and limited wisdom. 

My understanding will lead to rash decisions because my thoughts and feelings will get in the way of what the Spirit is trying to teach or to do. 
My understanding will never yet be to where it should be until I stop trusting in my own understanding. Sounds circular because it is. It's like worrying. Worrying bounces around your mind and comes right back to where it started.  It goes nowhere. Prayer gives worry a direction...straight up to the Throne of God.  

My understanding needs to be derived from my life in Christ.  Of those things that the Spirit has been teaching and is teaching me about a life in Christ Jesus.  Lessons are often painful.  That's just par for the course.  Surgeries are often painful regardless of what anesthesia is used.  The Disciples went through hundreds of painful lessons when learning from Jesus. It was certainly not all sunshine and rainbows. 

You, my Dear Reader, if you are in Christ, and are desiring to live Godly in Christ Jesus, are going to go through rough times, or as God sees them, rough situations.  Dr. Charles Stanley preached on Proverbs 3:5-6 as something of a compass for life.  Providing direction when you don't know nor understand. 

We are going to go through things that seem impossible, but as Scripture says with God all things are possible.  

We are going to face things we won't understand in this life that Jesus is just going to be the one to explain later when we can more easily understand it.  Our level of understanding is enough in this life. 

I think also this morning on a pair of songs.  "It is Well" and "My Anchor Holds".
Backed up with "What He's Done" and "The God on the Mountain", "Peace Be Still", "My Hope is in You", "Just Say Jesus", "He Knows My Name".

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Colossians 3:16-17 NASB. 

"So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ." Ephesians 5:15-21 NASB. 

The storm hasn't let up but in the midst, Jesus is still there.  Daniel tumbled down into a dark, sparsely lit room with hungry lions. Jesus showed up and spoke peace to those lions. He didn't remove the lions that night.  He didn't provide a rope that night to escape.  He didn't kill those lions.
He didn't cause the King to violate his own commands and rescue him anyway.  The Prince of Peace brought peace to all in that lion's den.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Daniel slept soundly that night and was awakened by the shouts of the King the next morning.  The storm was allowed to rage but it would have no negative impact on Daniel.  

If we trust our own understanding we will falter.  We will make the wrong choice.

I make it my point to do whatever God puts in front of me to be doing, whether I understand it or not.  My understanding isn't a requirement for my obedience.  

Take a good hard look at your life.  It may be going well right now.  What I would do is just do a quick self analysis and see if I am for sure living in obedience and not selfishness.  Satan also won't bother people who are already on a path of his choosing. He just sits back and watches.

Pray that your understanding doesn't get in the way of the will of God for you.  Your way may seem right and true but it doesn't mean that it is.  It may lead to accolades and the praises of others for your achievements and activities from men and women.  Doesn't immediately follow that you will receive the same from your Savior. 

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