Experiencing God in our Troubles

in weakness his power graceOne of the problems of living in a fallen world is that we tend to focus more on our troubles than on Christ.  Our problems become bigger than God.  We place too much faith in things or people and not enough faith in God.

Heb. 3:1, 6 says, “Consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession…but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son.  And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

Our hope, our confidence, and our faith must be in Christ who is faithful.  When trouble comes knocking, we need to “consider Jesus” and know that he is our hope.  Our confidence needs to be in him, more so than being focused on our troubles.

Our troubles provide no solid foundation, but Christ is our solid foundation.  He is our rock.  That’s why it’s wise to place our confidence in him and not ourselves, things, or people who are weak and limited in power and wisdom.  These worldly things simply cannot provide the peace, love, power, and wisdom that can only be found in trusting in the Lord.

We are all tempted to trust in our functional idols to provide for us what we doubt God will provide.  Our functional idols could be things like self-reliance, man’s wisdom, a job, a talent, money, worldly desires, a relationship, certain people, power, or pleasure.  It could be anything that receives your affection and attention more than God.  Yet these functional idols never satisfy us.

Jer. 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”  Our love and faith should be in the Lord not in our functional idols.  In fact, the Lord loves us too much to let these worldly things be our functional idols, so in his mercy towards us he allows troubles into our life to help us see the weaknesses of our functional idols so that we will depend more on God’s power.  The Gospel is the power of God, so we must believe in the Gospel of Christ and believe in his amazing grace!

John 11:14-15 says, “Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.”  The Lord allows troubles into our life so that we will place our faith, hope, and confidence in him.

The key to handling these troubles is to respond in a Christ-like way; to respond with faith, hope, and confidence in the Lord.  We need to “consider Jesus.”  Responding with anger, or worry, or complaining is not having a heart that trusts in the Lord.  These responses only reveal that we are placing too much confidence in our functional idols.

Here’s Paul response when troubles came his way.  He said in 2 Cor. 12:9, “But God said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God has given us a wonderful promise when we are tempted to not trust in the Lord.  1 Cor. 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

If Christ is our “consideration,” if our eyes are on Jesus more than our troubles, and if our heart is trusting in Christ, then our response to these troubles will honor the Lord and we will have confidence during times of trouble.

Our confidence is in the fact that God loves us and he showed his love to us by dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead.  That’s the Gospel!  We need to “consider” Christ’s love for us.

Living in a fallen world and experiencing trouble shouldn’t shock us.  1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

God is still in control even when trouble comes our way.  Trouble came our way because of God’s perfect plan and will.  They came our way to test us; but the question is, will we respond to troubles with faith, hope, and confidence in Christ during our season of trouble, or will we rely on our functional idols to help us?

Psa. 147:10-11 says, “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”

My attitude, my words, and my choices reveal where I’m placing my confidence.  The Christian who is placing their hope and confidence in Christ will have a heart of peace, love, and faith regardless of the trouble.

John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Examine your attitude, words, and choices; what do they reveal about your heart and your faith?  Will you place your hope in the Lord even during a difficult trial?  How do you respond when trouble comes your way?  What do you need to change after reading this article?

 

 

 

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About Pastor Douglas Graham

Dr. Douglas Graham started MadeToFish in 2007. MadeToFish is about "Growing and helping others grow in the Gospel." Doug is the Pastor of Cedarville Nazarene Church. Our church website is: MadeToFish.com
This entry was posted in Biblical Counseling, Change, Christlikeness, Difficulties, Doubt, Faith, God is good, Godly wisdom, Honoring God, Hope, Idols, Jesus Christ, Sovereignty of God, Suffering, The Gospel, The Heart, Trusting God, Unbelief, Weaknesses and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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