Responding to Times of Trouble
Welcome to the She Prays on Friday edition, spotlighting Scripture and praying it over you. My aim is for your strengthening and equipping making this the most encouraging FIVE MINUTES of your day.
This week I am celebrating my thirtieth wedding anniversary. That man and I have been through some stuff across the years. There have been moments I would not trade for anything. Lots of them, and for these, I am ever grateful. There is no one on the planet I would prefer to do life with. But as you can imagine, married life has not always been a string of blissful days and nights. Yet, as I look back on our history together, the difficulties have been necessary to make us into the people we are today. And a right response to the times of trouble, various trials, and difficulties, as I look back, is gratitude.
Trouble and Blessing
Your life and mine can reflect this same combination of trouble mixed with blessing. Can you think of a time when it seemed everything was wrong or there was no way out? But God was present, showing Himself faithful. Or maybe you can recall a time when you were in a bad spot (emotionally, or physically) and you felt His presence or His working in the midst of the badness, walking you through the mess? On the other side, you can now recognize how your God has been with you, to strengthen you, mold you, prune what needs to go away, and refine you by means you and I likely would not choose.
These seasons or situations often leave us more fervent and faithful, equipped with a faith we didn’t have before. You and I come to know more of God, His character, and presence in our lives we would otherwise miss. What, then, should be our response to this sort of testing?
What Should be our Response for Times of Trouble?
Consider Psalm 66:5-12. It’s as if the Psalmist is writing to another person, like the dialogue you and I experience today. He is passionate and succinct, using just a few words. So, in these moments we have together, I want to pick up on that passion, sharing these words with you, for our prayer and your encouragement.
Scripture for Responding to Trouble
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
And you brought us into the net;
Laying a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:5-12
A Right Response to Times of Trouble
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. (vs. 5)
From the outset, the writer beckons the audience in close, to see with their minds and hearts what God has accomplished in their midst. They were not there to experience these wonders – but they have been the benefactors. These didn’t see the people cross the Red Sea or walk across it themselves, but they are a part of the community that came from that legacy.
Then he brings the situation closer to home, helping the hearer raise her eyes upward. Bless God and let Him hear your praises. Then he gives us some reasons that are not locked away in a history book or grandpa’s storytime.
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip. (Vs. 9)
Praise God for keeping you alive
Think of all your near misses with calamity and death. Personally, I’ve walked away from a plane crash, a few car accidents, and tornadoes. From what I understand, I wasn’t even supposed to make it out of the hospital alive as an infant. I’m sure you can think of similar accounts. If you are breathing, it’s on purpose for a purpose. Girl, Praise God!
Praise God for the Testing
The Psalmist moves to something you and I don’t always like to reflect upon or raise our hands in the air to celebrate: the hard good.
For you, O God, have tested us; And you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net, laying a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads, we went through fire and through water; (vs. 9-12)
In other words
In other words, the writer expresses how God has put them through adversity. Trouble that has been at times, unbearable, varied, and seemingly constant, like one hard thing after another. I wouldn’t have done it His way. I might even say, “I don’t like His way.” It’s been awful at times. Crushing, painful, and difficult. Problems and predicaments out of our control, like fire and water. Let’s not skip over it and pretend it never happened.
This is not a complaint. We know this because of verse 12.
Yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
I don’t believe the Psalmist is pointing to a particular location on this planet absent of drama, problem-free, with no more nets. He knows these things are necessary. Through the experiences, there is abundance. Reliance on Jesus through the mess–looking upward rather than focusing on what doesn’t last is the key. It’s a change in focus to look beyond the test.
This one is a prayer that turns our eyes upward, speaking these things back to God. And if we are in the middle of difficulties, we can ask Him to be true to this word. We can also pray this right response to times of trouble over someone else, which is what I aim to do for you.
Praying a Right Response in Times of Trouble
Today, at this moment, I bless your Name. I thank you for the mighty works you have done to get us here today – praying and able to know your Word freely. More specifically, I thank you for the life of my friend listening. For your perfect purposes, you have preserved her. Help her live in complete assurance and freedom – There is no accident, coincidence, or mistake that you have provided for her presence, her abilities, her availabilities, and her positioning.
And to more ready her and equip her – to show her to Whom she belongs – you have tested her. And You may be testing her now – allowing her to experience untold difficulties, strains, and struggles we cannot alleviate. Right now, Lord, I pray that you give her the strength to rely on You, to see through to the end, to keep her eyes bend upward, to not give up or give in to discouragement–but to see on beyond the trouble toward Your abundance whatever that looks like from Your perspective.
In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.
For His Glory,
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