in our pastor’s study some weeks ago I picked a concordance off the shelf
and looked up the word ‘Trouble.’ It was rather like looking up
Smith, Jones or Brown in a telephone directory (or Leask, Goodlad and Tait
if you happen to live in Shetland)! Trouble, in one form or another,
features prominently in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus
warned us bluntly, “In this world you will have trouble.” The good news is
how He continued that message: “But take heart! I have overcome the
world.” (John 16:33)
Psalm 40:12, David speaks about being surrounded by troubles without
number. He acknowledges that many of these were of his own making, but we
know that he faced many external difficulties too. Look elsewhere and you
will that although trouble often slowed David down, it did not succeed in
stopping him altogether. Often, it was trouble that propelled him into
seeking the Lord with the urgency that he did.
Psalms 3;1, 41, 7:1, 10:1, 11:1, 12:1, 13:1, 17:1 for instance. As the
psalms develop, urgent complaint and inner desperation are gradually
replaced by expressions of trust and praise that the Lord will find a way
forward, even where there appears to be no way.
that come those wonderful moments when the power of God breaks through.
Phil Buechler reminded us this summer that once we have broken through
into one new area of anointing, it is usually much easier to break through
again. This is where occasional grace can become a regular ministry.
is delightful to refer to the great deliverances of the Bible - Daniel in
the lion's den, Shadrach and Co. from their ordeal in the fiery furnace,
Peter in prison and due to be beheaded the next morning and so on. But
that can be a bit like watching the ‘Match of the Day’ highlights. Few of
us find it easy when pressing fears or trouble come our way and we have no
idea how things are going to turn out.
trouble strikes, what we have sown comes home to roost. These are the
times which test the resilience and the purity of the crop we have
planted. Scripture is abundantly clear that we shall reap as we
you noticed how easy it is to grow weeds? No need to attend any courses or
read any gardening manuals; they spring up all too effortlessly. In our
own life there may be many weeds; things that aren’t necessarily
wrong in themselves but which will prove insufficient - unhelpful even -
when trouble comes our way. We shall be looking in this series at examples
of how the Lord can use even times of trouble to further His purposes -
and what we need to be sowing in order to produce a better crop.
quote again from Jesus’ words in John’s gospel, “The man who loves his life
will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it
for eternal life. Whoever
serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My
Father will honour the one who serves Me.” (John