Everyone's life is filled with troubles, either from within or from without. One man became so troubled that he decided to end his life. Just as he was about to throw himself over a cliff he heard a man call out to him, "Please Sir. Before you throw yourself off that cliff can I please have your watch, shoes and belt? He looked over and there was a homeless man wearing only rags. When he considered how much he had, he got back in his car and started a new life with a greater sense of thankfulness for every little gift from God. He realized that the good things that he had were riches for others. One day when Job's wife saw all of his miseries she turned to her husband and said, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die! Job replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" (Job 2:9,10) Into every life a little rain must fall, says the famous songwriter. Christians have a great God who fulfills all of His promises like, "He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him." (Psa. 37:39,40) Let us look at several principles of getting help in times of our personal troubles.
1. Appropriate all of the assurances of God's help by meeting the conditions of each promise. When we take refuge under the shelter of the Most High we will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psa. 91:1) We need to consistently spend time praying and asking the Lord for His help in our troubles. No problem is too small for God's caring heart. He loves to hear us call upon His name.
2. Continue to fear the Lord and keep His commandments during times of trouble. There is a big temptation to resort to worry, panic or human intervention when we encounter trouble. Go to the Lord first before asking anyone else for assistance. David writes, "Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." (Psa. 34:9,10) When you fear God and hate evil you will find supernatural assistance for any and all problems.
3 . Make a habit of obeying God even in times of uncertainty. Jesus contrasted the obedient and disobedient person in Matthew 7:24-27. The obedient person wisely built his house on the rock of faithfulness to God. When the troubles of life rained down on the obedient person, they were able to withstand every test. However, the unwise person who inconsistently obeyed God's will is likened to an individual that builds their house on sand. When the rains, winds and waves of life's trouble hit the inconsistent person's house, they are unable to stand. Habitual obedience to the Lord gives you special roots that will hold you firm when others are blown away.
4. Know that Jesus is always ready to calm your storm. In Mark 4:35-41, we learn how Jesus allowed the disciples to test their problem solving abilities during a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee. While Jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion, the disciples woke him and said, to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" Obviously, the Lord cared, but he wanted to test their faith. Immediately, He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." Remember, Jesus is always with you and He will never desert you. Yet, He will let you go through life's storms to develop your faith knowledge and problem solving abilities through many troubles.
5. Remember that each single day has enough troubles of its own. Try not to get too far ahead of God or behind Him. Jesus encouraged everyone to not worry about the problems of the future or the past. He said, "Today, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all things will be added to you as well." (Matt. 6:33,34) Try not to fall into conformity with unbelievers who constantly worry about the troubles that are outside of their control or area of responsibility.
6. Avoid the temptation to give in during times of persecution. When you are undergoing hostility and ill treatment remember that many people are disqualified from spiritual promotion because they gave in to pressures prematurely. Jesus said, "Others, like seed sown on the rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away." Prepare yourself in advance for all kinds of harassment from Christians and non-Christians. Some of the worst persecution will come from the people that you least expect. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God that you may stand in the day of trials.