Summary: Let us look at several principles of getting help in times of our personal troubles.
The God of My Refuge is Here: Psalm 91
Introduction: Everyone from one time to another will face troubles in their life. Someone once said, “You’re either in a trial, just came out of one, or you’re about to enter into one.” As morbid as that sounds, I believe that there is some truth in this statement. A big concern of mine is how people are handling these times of trouble. Are you holding on to your integrity or are you letting it stir up your anger to the point of cursing and in essence, you are belittling God.
Look at Job’s life with me for a few moments. His wife saw all of his miseries and 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" (Psalms 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. Many times, Christians do not understand the delay of God’s promises and are missing the stipulations to receiving the promise. Yes, I said stipulations. This is a vital reason why it is dangerous to take one small verse or any portion of scripture out of its context. When we take refuge under the shelter of the Most High we will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalms 91:1). That is a promise from the Lord. Do you se the stipulation? The stipulation is that we must take refuge in Him. We need to consistently spend time praying and asking the Lord for His help in our troubles. Are you looking for relief in “only one glass of wine” after a hard day? Are you trying to fulfill your trouble with a sexual relationship? The Psalm says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” No problem is too small for God’s caring heart. He loves to hear us call upon His name.
2. I overhear too many “Christians” speaking of God as if He were some fuzzy loving lamb. We must have reverence for the Lord and not take Him for granted. God commanded Moses to take off his sandals because He was in God’s presence. No, we are not called to do that. He tells us to boldly approach the throne of grace, but do not take that for granted. Our God is a holy God. 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" (Psalms 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. Just like a plant, when the rain and when comes, send your roots even deeper. Through these trials, you will learn to be patient and endure.
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. Just like the disciples on the boat looked to Jesus for the answer, so should we. Too many times, we have our eyes focused on the physical instead of the spiritual. Elevate your thinking.