May 31, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
So when troubles come do you ever feel like they might plow you under? That troubles, trials, and testings will come is evident! Job bemoaned in Job 5:7, “…man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” We had a cookout for our grandboys last week. We built a fire and roasted hot dogs. And, guess what? Sparks from the fire flew upward! They always do! Later, in Job 14:1, he lamented, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue.” Have you ever felt like that – just inundated by troubles that seem to wash over your head? The prophet Isaiah received some encouraging news straight from the LORD in Isaiah 40:28 through 31:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the
LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak,
and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths
shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those
who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk
and not faint.
This Scripture does not specifically mention troubles. But it implies such because it encourages the weak, those who have no might or strength, those who faint and are weary, and those who are ready to fall ! These verses give the idea of help being offered to those weighted down with troubles to the point of being crushed by them! I think we have all been there – or we are experiencing such problems even now!
According to our blog title, Under Or Over? the alternative to being Under the troubles is to be Over them in victory, having them underfoot! How do we accomplish that? The ‘secret’ is in verse 31: “…but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” So how do we wait on the LORD?
• We realize He is in control – of everything! Yes, Job was inundated with troubles. He lost his wealth, his family, his health, and – according to the record – even the encouragement of his friends! As the old saying goes, “With friends like that, who needs enemies? ” Is God in control?
✞ Psalm 83:18 – “…that men may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.”
✞ Psalm 103:19 – “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”
✞ Daniel 4:32 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) – “…the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of men, and that He gives it to whomever He desires.” (See also Daniel 4:17, 24; 5:21).
• What does ‘God in control’ mean to us as believers? Consider the following passages:
✞ Romans 8:28 and 29 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God’s idea of good is not always the same as ours! Sometimes all things working together for our good is very painful! God’s good purpose is to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. And, considering our natural sinful and rebellious nature, He has got to remove stuff from our lives that does not so conform – and that can cause pain! Although such process is ultimately good, it can seem like a severe trial as we are going through it!
✞ A related Scripture is James 1:2 through 4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Who is perfect and complete, lacking nothing? Only Jesus! James is telling us that trials are making us more and more like our Lord Jesus!
✞ Back to Romans 5:3 through 5 (English Standard Version) – “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Recognizing and appropriating God’s love is always in and through Jesus Christ! If we want this highly desirable characteristic of divine love in our lives (see I Corinthians 13:13), it comes often through sufferings!
✞ I Corinthians 10:12 and 13 (Bible in Basic English) – “You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but He will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it.”
More on this in Wednesday’s blog.