Where is the silver lining to troubles?
7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32).
It may seem like there’s no hope for all the suffering, sorrow and hurt around us. Bad news has become fodder for the news media, as it’s churned out all day long. We get sucked in by the negative streaming of information, then begin to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. We can be overly stimulated by what we ingest repeatedly, by listening to it over and over again. It’s important to curtail how much we take in. In all the hurt and suffering around us, we should try to find a glimmer of hope. We also have our own share of troubles. Somehow, we have to steel ourselves to cope with it all. When we are in over our heads, we need strength and provision beyond our means.
19 He shall deliver you in six troubles. Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. 20 In famine He shall redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. 21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. 22 You shall laugh at destruction and famine, and you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth (Job 5).
Trouble is inevitable, but God will not allow us to be consumed by it. God never forsakes those who put their trust in Him. Though they may be buffeted by many trials, He will deliver His people, time and again. In the midst of famine and war, He will redeem His own from death and destruction. We should be encouraged by God’s Goodness. We can rest in God, by choosing to rejoice in His unfailing Love, even in the midst of disasters. There’s nothing funny about troubles, but if we make God our hiding place, we can be glad in His Presence. There’s a sanctum for the weary—a place of refuge that tunes out the ominous din of misfortunes. We don’t know how things will pan out, but we are certain of our God. Though destruction may pervade us, Almighty God is still in control. In the face of trouble, God always wins. God is no match for any war, famine or disaster—He is our shield and fortress. Choose joy and victory in place of fear. The Maker of every moment is God at all times. He is Great, because He is God by Himself, and He never fails.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so Great a God as our God? 14 You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your Strength among the peoples. 15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 16 The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled (Psalm 77).
The Mighty One of Jacob, does great wonders for His people. It is during the most difficult trials, that He proves Himself to those who trust in Him. When we depend only on God for deliverance, He arms us with His Strength. He is honored when we trust in Him. In every situation, He reassures us that there is no other Deliverer. He puts to shame the things that afflict us. Creation trembles before His Presence and Majesty. We must remember that Greater is He that is for us, than any force against us. The battles we face are opportunities for God to reveal Himself. We should be able to laugh at the prospect of victory. How much peace we could have, if we turned our attention to God’s inimitable Abilities? May The Most High God be revealed in your time of uncertainty! He is the only One we can lean on; while every distressing situation seems fickle—He remains Faithful.
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened. That you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His Power toward us who believe, according to the working of His Mighty Power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places; 21 Far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1).
If we are willing, we will know the riches given to us who believe in The Father of Glory. He has given us an inheritance, which is access to His exceeding great Power—the same Power that raised Christ from the dead. This Power is made available to us. This is far above any other power, in the realm of things seen and unseen, in every dominion in Heaven or Earth. Our inheritance is not our suffering, but the manifestation of God’s Might in it. The hope of our calling is to know the riches of God’s Glory. We can only know what we are willing to experience for ourselves.
Our inheritance is irrevocable and independent of our circumstance. Have you experienced God’s Power yet? We have not been set apart to just muddle through this life, but to use everything made available to us from the Kingdom of God. We have assurance of having everything in Christ Jesus, as sons and daughters. Though we face trials, we are being equipped from above. Our supply is the riches of God’s Glory. We are not constrained to earthly reservoirs; we have a surfeit of heavenly resources. We are uplifted by our hope in God’s Providence.
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for The Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified (1 Peter 4).
Suffering for Christ is common for all believers. They stick out like a sore thumb and can make others uncomfortable; because they have different priorities and views on life. As Christians continue to live by the courage of their convictions, they become a target for those who oppose them. We are told to rejoice, because the criticism and attacks from others, is evidence that we have The Spirit of God and Glory on us. If it were not so, they would not mind us one bit. By enduring the reproaches, we are partaking in Christ’s suffering and becoming one with Him— For He suffered in the hands of His accusers. We can rejoice in the taunting and ridiculing because we glorify Christ in us.
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (Psalm 30).
When we cry out to God for help, we give up control in exchange for His help. So why not start rejoicing, because it’s no longer up to us. Turn your mourning into a song of praise and thanksgiving, because the burden is no longer yours to carry. Be content in what God can do. Take off the garments of sorrow and put on joy. Give thanks for God’s Mercies which never run dry. Give thanks to God forever.
Though this life is full of terrible surprises, coupled with all sorts of reactions from people, we can still live above all of it. We are found in Christ, Who is seated above the heavens. So, in all things hurtful, painful, and sorrowful, we can find solace in what we focus our energy on. The antidote to the droopy and foreboding uncertainty, is a revitalizing restorative. So, tune out the deluge of negative emotions and information. We have access to glorious riches, peace and power, in the heavenly places. In Christ, we can rejoice no matter what is thrown at us, even criticism for boldly living out our convictions. We have The Spirit of God and Glory, that makes us complete. Uplifting begins by turning our thoughts to the things that stir up peace. Remember that the present is not just gloomy, but there’s still plenty of good, to be grateful for.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned, received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4).