“The LORD hear you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend you; send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant you according to your own heart, and fulfil all your counsel. We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all your petitions.” Psalm 20:1-5 (KJB)
“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride does persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:1-4 (KJB)
“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But You, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:1-3
“And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.’ ” Luke 24:38-39 (KJB)
Here we are on the Eve of Christmas and there are many of us who are troubled. Most of our trouble is dealing with material things; such as financial debt, did I get the right gift for some loved one; or could be even troubled because of inability financially to buy gifts for loved ones.
The trouble of which Jesus addresses above is concerning His appearance to His followers whom He has just appeared to in this room. The door was locked, and He came in. Keep in mind all of the life of Jesus was about fulfilling the word and will of His Father, purchase our salvation, our redemption by His death on the cross, be buried – not just to prove His death, but to fulfill the type of the scapegoat of Leviticus 16:20-28. When that portion of the Law was fulfilled He rose from the grave alive with “flesh and bone”.
The disciples, followers were troubled because they thought they were seeing a ghost, a spirit, but Jesus quells that by telling them to look at His hands and His feet. His hands still had the scars from the nails of the crucifixion; His feet as well. Then He confirmed His body by speaking of being flesh and bone. He even invites them to touch Him… “Handle Me”
Why are we troubled? We are not mindful enough of the presence of the Lord Jesus, the bodily resurrected Lord Jesus alive, and seated at the right hand of the Father; and that He has given us the earnest of His Holy Spirit abiding in all those who are His (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5); awaiting that day when we shall be glorified with Him.
The One was born of a virgin, lay in the manger in Bethlehem, grew to be the Man that would give His life as the sacrifice for all our sin. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He died for you and me. Why? Because He loves us so much He gave.
Child of God; if you are troubled about things in this world, your family situation, your finances, your health, or your eternal condition, then look to the One who has showed Himself alive forevermore.
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, ‘LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.’” Psalm 41:1-4 (KJV)
In the United States of America we are richly blessed. We are blessed with the grace of God. We are blessed with riches. Yet in the midst of the blessing of riches we are cursed with some levels of poverty; and some of which cannot be avoided. People often find themselves without an income, due to loss of jobs; or sickness, and/or disease; which has robbed them of the strength to make a living. These are the poor that the Christian must not neglect.
It is the light of Christ Jesus that shines in our hearts that causes us to see others as being better than ourselves; and that includes the poor. Paul the apostle writing to the people of Philippi…
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 (KJV)
As Christians the love of Christ will reign supremely in our hearts; and others will be blessed by our lives and our conduct: even though they may not always realize it. John the apostle wrote the following…
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17 (KJV)
Be a blessing today.
This post is one written in July of 2013.
Are there any people or any one person who is the problem when a country, or land is troubled, and plagued by drought, famine, hunger, poverty, or disasters? Do these things just kind of happen? I think there are a lot of things we need to consider. One is, does that nation or people group call themselves a people of God? Do they claim to live by the laws of God? In the case of which we look at today the answer to those last two questions is “Yes!”
Let us hear from God’s word…
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.” 1 Kings 18:17-20 (KJV)
Because of the godlessness of Ahab and Jezebel, and their leading the northern kingdom of Israel into rebellion against the LORD God, Elijah had prayed for a period of no rain. It was a 3.5 year period without rain.
That poses the question; “Who is really a troubler of a land or country?” The answer to that question with a Biblical answer is the one or one’s who depart from God’s law and His word.
Elijah was accused by the king of being the troubler, but Elijah turned that back around telling the king, “…You and your father’s house have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and have followed Baalim”. They departed from the living God, to follow a fake God, who had no power, no life, nothing to give, but destruction.
Who troubled Israel? The one’s who departed from the word and law of God. Who troubles our land? The one’s who have departed from the word of God, and the law of God fulfilled in His Son Jesus Christ.
Let us return to the LORD our God with all our heart.
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want parents to know and to realize that their children are not perfect; that any of them can be a trouble maker, or a bully, and will lie, cheat and deceive; and that though they are loved they can be trouble, cause trouble or be in trouble; I want them to know that though these things are true they are still loved, yet need correction many times; sometimes even after they are grown; that the only answer for raising kids is to give them to the Lord; and you be an example to them.
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want you all to have a great Labor Day holiday, with family, friends, and to make it a safe, clean, and godly day too; if your traveling away from home too far to make the trip safely, and arrive back at home safe, and without trouble.
“I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I shewed before Him my trouble.” Psalm 142:1-2 (KJV)
Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave. That is the title most Bibles place over this Psalm. This would be the cave David hid from king Saul in, and cut off his “skirt”, and his men sought to kill Saul, but David prevented them (1 Samuel 24:1-8).
Caves are dark. If you have no light, and are back far enough in them you cannot see your hand in front of your face; and that is not just a cliche’. It is a cool, damp place as well. It would be a comfortable place to go during a heat wave. For David, however, it was a place of hiding.
Was David afraid of king Saul? I do not think so. He was afraid that if he was around him too much, that he might have to kill him; and that he did not desire to do. Saul was God’s anointed king, and David would not lift a hand against him.
Like David we must trust the LORD to hear our voice in our darkest moments. When we are in the caves of despair, or fear, that is the time to bring our complaint to Him. One thing I have noticed as a Christian is that, when I take my complaints, my heart aches, my hardships to the Lord, then no one else will hear about them. If they do it is more in how God worked to resolve them. Giving God the glory.
“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee…” Psalm 20:1 (KJV)
The Psalmist is probably suiting up for battle at this point as the king of Judah. The enemy is around and waiting to pounce. In the time before the battle is a time for prayer.
When people pray before the battle we will be more secure in the thought of GOD hearing during the battle; those quick emergency prayers which are uttered from the heart.
His thought as he prays is on Jehovah [YaHWeH] the Almighty, the I AM of Moses and of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is our GOD too.
The whole of the Godhead is the GOD who will hear and aid us in our battles. When? In “The day of trouble”. In defense He sets you up on a high place to shield you, protect you. He is your shield.
There is no greater trust than to trust the One who is eternal GOD. He has revealed Himself to mankind in the person of His Son. At this time of year we are remembering His incarnation; God becoming man, that He might redeem us from our sins. He is no longer that baby in a manger; rather He is the crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord of all the earth. In your day of trouble He hears you. Will you hear Him?
“Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1 (KJV)
It has been asked again and again, “Where was God on that day of despair?” Maybe you are one who has asked the question. Maybe, even like the Psalmist you asked God Himself; “Why are You so far away? Why are You hiding Yourself in these times of trouble?”
I know that I have. God’s answer has always been, “I am right here in the midst of it. Do you not see My mercy? Do you not see My hand keeping harm at bay?”
Name a trouble or trial, and I can tell you He is right there in the midst of it. He is holding you. If it is a tragic event involving someone else He is there as well.
A very needful question to ask would be “Where was God on the day Jesus was crucified?” After all Jesus was sinless, without spot or blemish. He was there. He was displaying His grace; His love and His mercy for all human kind. He was also displaying His judgment upon our sin upon His Son Jesus Christ. He was not standing “afar off”; He was very near; fulfilling His Word.
He is right where you are as well. Believe Him. Trust Him today.
“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me.” Psalm 3:1 (KJV)
This Psalm is said to have been written by David while fleeing for his life from his son Absalom. Absalom had taken over the kingdom or at least part of it in anger, even hatred for his father.
What man, who loves his son or daughter, would not rather flee than to harm one of their children? Yet it grieved the heart of David, and he felt as though his world was coming after him.
If you will note, however; David went to God about the situation. That is the place we need to go when it seems the world is against us. When the world is against us, or even only one is against us let our destination be before the face of the LORD. Go now.
Our Relationship to the Time We Live
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 3:1-5
1. DO NOT BE SHAKEN OR TROUBLED (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-2).
2. A FALLING AWAY SHOULD BE EXPECTED (v. 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:2-5).
3. PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND THOSE IN LEADERSHIP (2 Thes. 3:1).
4. PRAY FOR THE WORD OF GOD TO MOVE FREELY (3:1).
5. PATIENTLY AWAIT THE COMING OF CHRIST (3:5).
The prophet received word from the LORD that it was time for the rain to come on Israel. That meaning in essence that it was time to call the nation to repent of their sins; and it was to begin with the king, and the false religion he and his wife espoused in the land. The worship of Baal was a vile and evil religion which was an earthy, self-centered, pleasure oriented religion; and led the children of Israel away from the God of all creation. That was partly why Elijah had prayed for no rain; to show that Baal was powerless.
Elijah meets Obadiah, and tells him to take message to Ahab that he was ready to meet with him,
“And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, ‘Art thou that my lord Elijah?’ And he answered him, ‘I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.'” 1 Kings 18:7-8 (KJV)
Now, Obadiah was a bit cautious, and knew that the LORD was protecting Elijah, and feared that the LORD might just go back to moving Elijah around, hiding him from the king, but Elijah convinces Obadiah to get the message to Ahab that he wants to meet with him (18:9-15).
Notice the king’s words to Elijah when he does meet him,
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, ‘Art thou he that troubleth Israel?’ And he answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.'” 1 Kings 18:17-18
It is accusation of dividing the nation, causing trouble. I find it aggravating, insulting, and almost blasphemous to hear those who cry against the holy and righteous as always being the ones who are the “Troublers” of a nation or people. That is what Ahab was charging against the prophet. That is the cry of our post modern culture against those who stand against the unholy promotion of unholiness, and ungodliness. Those who stand against same sex marriage are accused of being bigoted, haters, mean spirited, trouble makers. We are supporters of what is holy, righteous and good.
Just as Elijah faced the king and told him “I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house…” You have troubled Israel. Those who stand against God, righteous living, holy conduct, Biblical teaching, and Biblical conviction; they are the troublers of our nation and lives.
We are faced with a challenge. Will we live for God? Will we live by the words of the Bible, the words and life of Jesus Christ; or will we go along to get along? I choose to live by the words of Jesus, the words of the Bible;
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47 (KJV)
-Tim A. Blankenship
Who does not have troubles in life and with life. It begins with questions. Questions like; “Where did I come from?”; “Why am I here?”; “What is my purpose in living?” There is only one place we can find the answer for those questions and that is from our Creator.
I cannot tell you the answer to those questions you will need to find them for yourself. You might even have some of the same thoughts as Solomon in Ecclesiastes. My reading this morning was the final three chapters of the Proverbs 29- 31, and all the chapters of Ecclesiastes. I do not know about you, but reading Ecclesiastes can be very discouraging. At least, up until you get to the final verses.
If you have read Ecclesiastes, and think you have the problem of life solved, then let me say this as kindly as possible – That is the thought of a fool.
Solomon, the wisest of men who ever walked on earth never solved the problem of life, and its troubles. I know that I cannot; and I am not going to spend a lot of time with this book trying to explain what Solomon means when he tells us “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity”. I know vanity means “vapor”, or “breath”, and comes down to meaning, “Meaningless”. You would not think that you would hear that coming from the mouth of a wise man, but it does.
Let me give you a word of warning. Do not build a doctrine or belief from this book. It raises far more questions than it substantiates; with the exception of its conclusion.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV)
The answers to life’s troubles, and questions are for you to find on your own, but let me give you a heads up. For me and all who have eternal life, life begins with God. You came from the mind and heart of God. We are here to glorify God, to be His lightbearer in a dark world. Our purpose is to love God and enjoy Him forever.
You will find the answers to these questions when you believe God, believe and trust His word and work through Christ Jesus death, burial and bodily resurrection; and submit to Him, and walk with/in Him. Walking with and in God makes the problems of life more sensible, and bearable.
-Tim A. Blankenship