Summary: When trouble comes, we sometimes wish we could run away. But Scripture offers us an alternative--and it works!
What To Do When Trouble Comes
S. M. Henriques
Have you heard the story of "Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day"? Alexander was a boy about 7 or 8 years old, and he had one of those days when everything went wrong, disasters one right after another. Nothing went right. "It was a Horrible, Terrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day."
For instance, when Alexander woke up in the morning, he discovered that he had gone to bed with gum in his mouth, and when he woke up it was in his hair. When he got out of bed he tripped over his skateboard, and then he dropped his sweater into the sink where the water was running. He said, "I just knew it was going to be a Horrible, Terrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day!"
Then he went to school, and he had a horrible day there, too. After school he had a terrible experience at the Dentist’s office. Then came supper, and he said, "We had cauliflower for supper, and I hate cauliflower! And on TV all I saw was huggin and kissin, and I hate huggin and kissin!"
"Then my bath water was too hot, and I got soap in my eyes, and I lost my marble down the drain. When I went to bed, Nick took back the pillow that he said I could have. And my Mickey Mouse night light burned out, and I bit my tongue, and the cat decided to sleep with Nick and not with me. “All in all," he said, "it was a Horrible, Terrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day"
When Alexander finally came to the end of that day, he heaved a sigh and cried, "I think I’ll run away to Australia." (as told by Melvin Newland)
You’ve felt like that sometimes, haven’t you? I don’t know if I would choose Australia, but there are many days I wish I could run away to Colorado, or at the very least, just pull the covers back over my head. But there is an alternative, and our Scripture tells us what it is.
1. Hide in Him, v. 1
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." The Hebrew word "trouble" that is used means "pressed in, confined in a tight space." Do you remember the old saying, "between a rock and a hard place?" That is the kind of pressure the psalmist is talking about. When life presses in upon us, when trouble comes, then we can know that we have a place to run to. It is not Australia. It is not Colorado. It is not even your own backyard. God is our refuge and strength. It does not matter what form the trouble takes, or how it is delivered, or how long it stays. God alone is our accessible, protected place of refuge and retreat. We can hide there and know that nothing can get through to us unless it goes through Him first.
Some may depend on their bank accounts, their jobs, their families, their relationships. But our God is a far better refuge than any of those. It is not that relationship we’ve invested so much time in that is our refuge and strength. It is not a job or a house that is our ever present help in time of trouble. It is not the economy that gives us our strength. It is not the age, appearance, condition or health of our bodies which provides us help. It is God Who provides us with a place to run, a place to hide. Deuteronomy 33:27 contains this awesome, encouraging truth: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Here is a great verse to remember: Psalm 57:1—Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. What does it mean to “take refuge”? It means that we hide there. The Scriptures tell us that we can hide in Him: For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock (Psalm 27:5)
Listen to this one: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 62:5-8). Here is one more, though there are many, many others: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)