<<problem, difficulty>>

Troubles are part of the consequence of man's fall into sin.

David prayed, “For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble” (Ps 143:11). Don't let them throw you.  Obstacles are to work through

Take it to the Lord in prayer

– as we overcome they increase our skill, we gain experience, develop maturity, grow in wisdom and Godly character.

Troubles will test our persistence, commitment, faith and character. When the going gets tough many draw back, but this is not to anyone’s advantage (Mk 4:17; Lk 9:62; Heb 10:38). Who wants to be defeated? Try to maintain God's peace and joy in the midst of them. Paul and Silas were praising God and He moved miraculously on their behalf (Act 16:22-34).

Christianity is not a trouble-free route to heaven – we'll only enter our eternal home through many trials with Jesus stating, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33; Act 14:22). Walking uprightly with God does not guarantee that calamity will not come (Job 1:8-12, 2:3-6,10). Righteous Job could truthfully say, "A man's life is full of troubles" (Job 14:1). In fact, often the closer a believer is to God the more (although controlled under the divine covering) are the troubles they are subjected to. “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Ps 34:19). Immediately after being baptised and receiving the Holy Spirit Jesus, Himself experienced a long and difficult time of testing (Lk 4:1-13). Trials prove our faith is genuine (1 Pet 1:6,7). However in reality our troubles on earth are short when compared with eternity. We need a healthy perspective: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor 4:16,17).

Paul said, ‘glory in trials’ knowing they work for your good (Rom 5:3-5, 8:28; Jas 1:12). We are to rejoice in troubles, knowing they bring about God's blessing, character and reward.

He spoke from experience, he had his fair share (Act 9:16; 2 Cor 11:23-28). Why am I complaining about the small inconveniences that come my way? We can accentuate our troubles through self-pity, frustration, and because 'I am not being ministered to'. Satan wants us to focus on the trials of life rather than the Life giver. Keep your eyes on the Lord, confident He will fulfill His purpose for you (Ps 138:8; Heb 10:32-35, 12:2).

The present hardships might seem overwhelming unless we can see them from God's perspective of on-going faith, growth in righteousness and victory (1 Thes 5:18). Never loose sight of the fact that God's plans for us are for our good. He is watching over us in love (Jer 29:11). He acts on the behalf of those who are committed to Him (Isa 64:4).  “He is an ever present help in the time of trouble...I am confident that God will protect me” (Ps 46:1,2, 57:1).

Not all troubles have external causes. Sometimes we bring them on ourselves through disobedience, poor planning, bad work habits and not being alert – “Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you” (Jer 4:18; Ezek 22:1-5). The house built on the sand collapsed because of a lack of foresight, discipline and effort to ensure a sound foundation (Mt 7:26,27). We should take practical steps to avoid trouble, by planning, following proven techniques and reviewing past mistakes, so we live more wisely in the future. And we can confidently seek forgiveness and/or guidance from our heavenly Father in order to ‘do better next time’.

We can't be an over-comer without an obstacle or object to overcome. The Bible asks the question, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your

  Look for the blessings in the troubles

strength” (Prov 24:10)? Testing will surely come so tell God all about it (Isa 37:14-20; Ezek 21:13). "God is a refuge… [where] the righteous are rescued from trouble" (Prov 11:8, 18:10;  Nah 1:7). When all about you is chaotic and you can’t see the horizon, cling tightly to Jesus, and say with David, “My hope comes from God, I shall not be shaken” (Ps 62:5,60). Remember, also, that “The God of all comfort gives us comfort in our troubles, so we in turn can comfort others” (2 Cor 1:3,4). God will not necessarily remove us from the difficulty; rather, He will protect us and glorify Himself in the midst of the difficulty. Wisdom says ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’, so after bringing the matter before God (who knows about it anyway) share it with others who will pray about it too.

In the days before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me" (Jn 14:1). In the midst of our calamity we must focus on who is for us, not what is against (Rom 8:31-39; 1 Jn 4:4). 

The "time of Jacob’s trouble" is speaking of the future seven-year tribulation period, a period of intense terror and agony unparalleled in history (Jer 30:7; Mt 24:21; Rev 6:1ff). Yet through this time the nation of Israel will turn back to the Lord and many gentiles will also call on the name of the Lord and be saved (Jer 30:22; Joel 2:32; Zech 12:10; Rom 10:13). 

See also: hassles, not being ministered to, over-comer, problems, protection, self-pity, suffering, test/testing, trials, tribulation, wilderness wanderings.

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