Facing TroublesBro. David Chancellor
6/11/2006 11:00 AM
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” All mankind encounters hard places in life. What matters is how we handle what comes our way. Affliction has to do with what comes against us to oppress. It is being between a rock and a hard place. The devil would like to put you in a hard place to see if you’ll do what is right. When you are in the hard place, God will bring you through if you’ll turn to him. We’re not out to find trouble, but sometimes it will find us. Look to God to bring you through it.
2 Timothy 4:5
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
If you would be a minister, expect to face some troubles. There is trouble in the world, but we can be set to endure it. Paul knew what afflictions were. He encountered troubles that weren’t of his choosing. God can work through the trials that come. We may not always know the reason, but through God we can come through.
James 5:13, 10-11
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. … Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.” The way to endure affliction is through prayer. When you discover you’re in affliction, turn to God for help. When you’re in the battle, you need to draw on the strength of God. Get fervent in prayer. Find out what God would have you do, and what he will do.
We can look at the prophets for an example of how to go through. They got in some pretty hard places. Jeremiah found strength in God when he was in the pit. We’ll be troubled and opposed by some things, and we want to go through with grace and patience. We can take well what is intended for bad, like Joseph took his troubles. Joseph proved himself in the hard places to be the best person for the second ruler in the land. He worked hard but he wouldn’t compromise his principles.
Sinners afflict each other, too, not just saints. The way we go through the hard places is a way for them to see that we’re different. They need to see the difference the Spirit of God has put in you.
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Don’t ever think you have no more afflictions to face. There will be times of refreshing and rest. Enjoy it, but stay prepared to go through more troubles. Sometimes God allows troubles to put his people on display. He wants others to see you go through. Afflictions give you a chance to let your light shine. Learn compassion for others that are facing affliction. Stand up for someone that is doing what is right.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
“…our light affliction…” Our afflictions are nothing compared to what Paul went through. Compared to eternity, the things we endure are very small. How we bear the affliction determines how long the affliction is. You don’t have to allow the affliction to continue in your mind. Give it to God and keep moving. Keep your focus on God in your affliction. If you keep your eyes and focus on God, he can work good in it. Take the affliction to God in prayer. He’ll help you get the victory and draw you closer to him. We can come through affliction as gold. Draw closer to God. Don’t let life’s troubles take away your song. Look to God and be victorious in the trouble.