Psalm 69:1-3 “Save me, O God, for the waters are up to my neck. I have sunk into the miry depths, where there is no footing; I have drifted into deep waters, where the flood engulfs me. I am weary from my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”
Can you hear the note of panic in David’s voice? The terrifying prospect of water rushing in, rising to a level that is unsustainable, standing on your tip toes while gasping for that last breath are images made for movies.
Here we see a similar pattern that shows one who has been overwhelmed with trouble. The scene begs the question as to why they were in the water in the first place, or how they could allow themselves to become so overwhelmed, so quickly?
Trouble can come unexpectedly.
How can we avoid these pitfalls of life that seem to rush in and catch us unprepared?
Psalm 54:7 “For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
When we place our trust in Christ alone, we find that our guide is also our deliverer. If trouble comes, it’s because He has lead us into the trouble intentionally.
Are trials expected?
1. Trials that bring forth godliness are of God.
Job 23:10 “Yet He knows the way I have taken; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
2. The intent of the heart is revealed in the trial.
Romans 2:7 “To those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.”
3. If you suffer for being obedient to Christ, you share in His glory.
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.”
4. When the Lord takes you into the trial, He is the One who brings you out.
Deuteronomy 7:19 “You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.”
When trouble comes, whether it is from God intentionally bringing trials or because of our foolishness, the hope of the righteous is maintained in their deliverer.
The Righteous and the Unrighteous.
When trouble comes upon a people, whether it is locally or globally, it typically involves both the righteous and the unrighteous. There is a long history of nations being subjected to conquering nations, judgement for sin, and quite simply God bringing trials to purify His people. Whatever the circumstances there is a difference in how one group responds versus another.
Proverbs 11:7-11 “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of the unjust perishes.
The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.
The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.”
When the unrighteous perish, all of their hopes and dreams perish with them. The devastation of a life ending in hopelessness is in part the reason why so many fear death. The sorrow that is expressed at the funeral of the ungodly is justified.
Do the righteous perish? Of course they do, but the trouble that is associated with the termination of a life is turned into victory for the one that has placed their eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
Job 27:8-10 “For what hope have the godless when they are cut off, when God takes away their life? Does God listen to their cry when distress comes upon them? Will they find delight in the Almighty? Will they call on God at all times?“
The oppressive nature of the wicked and the detriment to society that the unrighteous pose through their lack of a moral foundation and hollowness of truth manifests itself in a wake of pain and sorrow.
Job 27:11 “I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.”
One thing we can be certain of in this life is that trials will come, for anyone living in the world today, that reality is very clear. We can know without a doubt that when it seems that the waters are rising and the way seems perilous….. God will show Himself worthy.
The Lord has always been faithful and will always be.