The Certainty of Trouble
We all pass through days of trouble. The Bible realistically speaks of days of trouble. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Job who went through intense suffering said: “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” and “man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 14:1, 5:7). So we need not be surprised when troubles come our way.
What NOT To Do in Times of Trouble
Many people turn to idols, astrology, fortune tellers, witchcraft, and god-men and women during times of trouble. When the Israelites did evil God sent them trouble through the hand of enemies. Then they cried out to the Lord and admitted their sin. God challenged them by asking: “Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble” (Judges 10:14)! God also speaks of idols that cannot save: “From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his trouble” (Isaiah 46:7). So do not “be terrified by signs in the sky” (Jeremiah 10:2) and forget to seek the LORD in times of trouble. And do not rely on those who do not acknowledge God (For example, King Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:20–23).
Attitude During Trouble
A time to trouble tests our faith and develops perseverance (James 1:2-4) . So if we falter during times of trouble, God says our strength is small (Proverbs 24:10). We should understand that each day brings enough trouble of its own; so we should not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). So also we are not called to simply sit back and let trouble bring us down when we “pass through the sea of trouble” (Zechariah 10:11). Instead we are to expect deliverance in times of trouble. Like Job let us not refuse to accept trouble (Job 2:10); yet at the same time let us know that we will be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:7). Yes, we might walk in the midst of trouble; yet God preserves our life (Psalm 138:7; see also Daniel 3:25-28) .
God, Our Refuge in Times of Trouble
Let us learn to expect deliverance by looking to God who is our refuge in times of trouble (Nahum 1:7, Psalm 59:16). Yes, the Lord is good and He cares for those who trust in him. He is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is a stronghold in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9; 37:39). King David often spoke about God who delivered him from all his troubles (2 Samuel 4:9, 1 Kings 1:29, Psalm 54:7. see also Jacob’s testimony in Genesis 48:16). David says: “This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles . . . The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles . . . A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:6, 17, 19).
What To Do in Times of Trouble
God says very clearly: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me” (Psalm 50:15). Often we fail to call upon God when troubles begin. We seek every other source of help; and only when it fails will we try to call upon God. This should not be. We should seek the face of God even from the beginning of trouble. When we call upon God, He will answer us and be with us in trouble and will deliver us (Psalm 91:15). To be able to recognize that God is with us (Immanuel) while we are in trouble is a great blessing. Often we recognize God’s presence later like Jacob at Bethel (Genesis 28:16). Though God causes us to see many and bitter troubles; He will restore our lives once again. Yes He’ll bring us out of trouble and increase our honour and comfort us once again (Psalm 71:20, 21). God will also cause us to forget our troubles (Genesis 41:51, Isaiah 65:16, see also Job 42:11).
God, Our Hiding Place
When troubles come, we naturally want to run away. Sometimes we question God (Psalm 10:1), asking Him why He is hiding from us? We cry out, “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no-one to help” (Psalm 22:11). We cry out saying, “The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins” (Psalm 25:17, 18). This crying out is our natural response when God seems far away. But let us not remain in our complaints against God. There is a better option. Trust in Him at all times and make Him your hiding place (Psalm 27:5 and Psalm 32:6, 7). He’ll surely deliver you out of your troubles when you call out to him in the day of trouble!