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ernest (2)THE DIVINE ANSWER TO TROUBLE – Rev. E. Anderson
Reading Psalm 50

Text v15

Introduction

AN AUTHORITATIVE WORD: It is worthwhile noticing who it is that is speaking these words in this text of Holy Writ. One is encouraged when it is one of the OT patriarchs and saints that has something inspiring and definite to utter and express, but when it is the Lord, one must really sit up and take note. The author being the Lord places the absolute and highest authority on what is said because He never wastes words and also means what He says and is always in the healthy position of fulfilling all He declares. “Hath He not said, and shall He not do it.” One could have no one greater than He, and here He is going on record on a vital issue that touches upon all at a crucial and critical state in life’s experiences. One of the things that is important and imperative in life is to come to know and depend upon the Lord and His Word.

ASSURING FACTOR: This is certainly an assuring factor and an inspiring sort that is purposed to act as a stimulus and it comes by way of a sacred and divine promise. It is so essential to be able to live in the realm of faith and assurance rather than in depression and dejection. Of course, it is to be recognized, there are things that happen that have the ability to create the wrong atmosphere and attitude and to sink the mind and spirit into a woeful, sad and dejected condition. The pressures without can attack and deflate the within so that there comes a mental and spiritual recession and low.

The Lord wants us to be able to properly react when we find ourselves facing certain circumstances in life. This divine guarantee is intended to give a good and wholesome attitude to whatever is taking place in our affairs. He is actually setting us up beforehand so that we know what to do when there are specific developments happening that can have a damaging and destroying effect. It is obvious that He is desirous of seeing the spirit of assurance and the rule of faith directing the whole of mind and heart.

A DEMANDING REQUIREMENT: If this is actually to come to fruition, in a powerful dynamic sense, then the previous verse cannot be ignored. It lays the foundation for the actual realization of this promise. Two things are required of us that express definite spiritual qualities that He admires and appreciates.

A spirit of thankfulness – v14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving”. This would seem to indicate that the person has a deep sense of gratitude to God and is aware of the choice things that have already taken place within life. Liv. Bible “What God wants from you is your true thanks.” Many believers do not develop a disposition of divine gratefulness but it is vital if there is to be any greater display of God’s goodness. David appears to have quickly learned this art within his heart and reveals it in the psalms he wrote – Psalm 103: 1-5. Paul advocates that when prayer is made it should be truly united with thanksgiving – Philippians 4: 6. It is not simply a case of ‘Give me! Give me! Give me! but Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you!’

A life of obedience – v14 “pay your vows to the Most High.” Much depends upon this factor. The bringing to pass of all that God wills and wants to do is contingent upon our commitment to Him and especially in the keeping of our word to Him. He seeks to find out whether we mean what we say before there can come about the outworking of so much more for our good and blessedness. Those things that we have promised we would do for Him need to be seriously attended to so that the foundation is surely laid for what He desires and will do for us in our crisis times. His character is not in question: ours is. The issue has to be resolved before the ongoing assurance is ultimately accomplished.

“Let the ground of all religious actions be obedience; examine not why it is because it is commanded. True obedience neither procrastinates nor questions.” – Quarles

Having settled these matters it is possible to move on this fundamental word for given circumstances. So much is expressed in the compass of the text.

1/. IT DOES AFFIRM THERE ARE PROBLEMS TO BE ENCOUNTERED

• There is no escaping the fact that ‘troubles and trials’ are there in the route and road of all and have to be negotiated.

“The greatest affliction of life is never to be afflicted.” – Anon

It is evident that people and even believers are destined to meet crises and difficulties – Job 5:7. In no way is the Christian assured that they are going to be rendered immune from the problems and stress of life – see 1 Peter 4: 12. The apostle ought to know because he was put through the mill in relation to this sort of thing. They happen to good people who appear to be living the kind of life that God likes and approves of – e.g. Joseph. Sometimes the ride becomes definitely rough! One is not always prepared for it as a corner is suddenly turned.

It is also apparent that they are of a varied order and can come with quick succession – Job 1 & 2; James 1. Job appears to be a helpless victim as wave after wave of depressing news is communicated to him. There did not look to be any relief on the matter and no one seemed to give him any crumb of comfort. Nothing in the way of telephone, E Mail or card in those days. His back was proverbially right back against the wall as he was repeatedly assaulted. James speaks of ‘trials’ knowing they have a habit of coming in thick and fast at times.

It is possible to be overwhelmed by them and so they have the effect of producing a negative state of mind and spirit – Genesis 42: 36. Even the godly patriarch and tested Jacob knew what it was to cry out in a seeming cry of deep sorrow and sadness – “All these things are against me.” At that time, nothing looked as if it was going right: all was wrong from the human standpoint. He was having real difficulty interpreting the events that he was facing at that time. They did not appear to have much sense of value. He was in the dark, ignorant of what was taking place behind the scenes. He was simply overtaken with the goings on and had to learn to trust the Lord.

It is vital to know what the divine action should be when this sort of situation arises. There has to be the coming to terms at some point with the issues that are grievous and critical and a spiritual procedure adopted to counteract the become offensive. One line that James give sit quite shattering and shocking – “Count it all joy when you fall into all kind of temptations – trials” – James 1: 2. Many would find it difficult to reconcile themselves with this sort of program. It is contrary to natural psychology and human practice. It is not the time to be on a high but a low.

The Lord does reveal that there is something to be really done amidst the worst of conditions and irrespective of the negative factors – “And call upon Me . . . .”

  • There is a ministry to be engaged upon even when this kind of thing occurs – prayer. It is the Lord that places the premium on prayer and this should be taken note of. If it is the request and directive of the Lord that this is the primary thing to be done then it underlines its priority and efficacy. He has no low estimation of prayer but regards it high on His agenda in His dealings with His people. God regards prayer as being full of potential and prospect and so seeks to beget and nourish its action in those who are to have a dynamic relationship with Him. He reveals that the answer to trouble is to be found in prayer and believers have to give it its due place of prominence Paul got it right the moment of conversion – Acts 9: 11

Illustration: Notice on a church notice board- “This is A Prayer Conditioned Auditorium.”

  • There is implication that He is given to listen to what is voiced and this shows His interest and involvement. What a tremendous thing it is to be able to have the ear of God! One thing that God does not suffer from, deafness, although He does switch off if things are not right with regard to the prayer – Isaiah 59: 1,2. Christ revealed that He always had the ear of His Father and this proved to be an invaluable asset – see Luke 11: 41. The fact that He is prepared to go this far in hearing also makes known that he is ready to further to work on behalf of the one that prays and in the situation.
  • There is the knowledge that prayer brings both an immediate and ultimate answer – relief in the now and intervention ahead. So often in the calling there comes the actual ministry of divine relief as prayer is engaged upon. It somehow switches on a relief valve that releases the pressure that has built up because of the troubles. This is certainly a most helpful factor alone within the kind of conditions. It is one of the things that is instantly required and the Lord has ordained that by this means there can come a state of serenity and assurance as the issues are not only before the Lord but into the hands of the Lord. Because there is this immediate sense of relief it paves the way for the greater faith that believes that the overall trouble will be adequately answered. There is the knowledge that He is in the midst of the situation and will give a satisfactory solution according to His wisdom and power.

“I used to pray that God would do this or that. Now I pray that God will make His will known to me.” Chiang Kai-shek

2/. IT DOES ASSURE THAT THERE IS A PROMISE TO BE EXPERIENCED

  • Nothing could be plainer and simply put by the Lord – “I will deliver you.” What He announces He will attend personally to seeing that all is resolved to the good of the petitioner. There are no complications from His side of things.
  • He has the wisdom and power to effect whatever His required. It may be asked, has He the wherewithal to be able to meet the critical situation whatever it may be? Does He have the resource and the back-up factors to answer the crisis at hand? It can be proven beyond doubt, from the Scriptures, that He is up to every major crisis. Without question He is the One that not only possesses an ear that hears all but an omnipotent hand that can provide and execute in all circumstances.
  • Because He is omnipresent in every generation it means to say that as the I Am that I Am He is ever around and in the position to act and do what is required. We can be assured that He is always in His proper place and has the capacity to act at all times. There is no way that He forsakes the scene of time or those who dare to place all in His hands. He is not intimidated by anyone or anything but is more than equal to all that stands before Him – see Hebrews 13: 5, 6 Amp. Version “Be satisfied with your present (circumstances and with what you have); for He, (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. (I will) not, (I will) not, (I will) not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let (you) down, leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let (you) down, (relax my hold on you). – Assuredly not! – Joshua 1: 5.
  • He has numerous methods and measures to fulfil His word of promise. The troubles and trials may be various and numerous and so are His answers and solutions. Eliphaz makes the assertion in Job 5: 19 “He shall deliver you in six troubles: yes, in seven there shall no evil touch you.” Psalm 34: 15, 17, 19. He does not have to proceed down the same route each time and work out an answer in the same way again and again. He is not a stereotyped God but has His own particular and special ways of settling problems. He has many surprising and unique ways of doing things and He wants His people to open to Him to work things out as He chooses.

The vital thing is for those who pray is to be possessed with a genuine faith and expectancy that the Lord will not only turn up but act as He desires and designs.

“The sacred promises, though in themselves most sure and precious, are of no avail for the comfort and sustenance of the soul unless you grasp them by faith, plead them in prayer, expect them by hope, and receive them with gratitude”. Spurgeon

3/. IT DOES ASSERT THAT THERE IS A PURPOSE TO BE ENTERTAINED

The vital conclusion of the text makes known what should be the resultant end of the matter. It gives what the key goal and intention is in the procedure. It is not focusing in on the trouble, the praying or even on the answers, brilliant as they maybe, but in this delightful action – “and you shall glorify Me.” What does this have to say and communicate to us?

  • There is a need to have the right perspective within our problems, prayers and answers. Mind and thought can be focused and centralized on numerous things and become a source of real distraction from the main object of our gaze and meditation. The right conditioning of mind is imperative to the right result. It is necessary in all things to have a pre-occupation with the Lord so that He is the most important consideration of all at all times.
  • There has to be an utter sanctification within our beings and circumstances why we desire the Lord’s action and intervention in our affairs, especially our crises. Sometime there is no speedy response to prayer because there possibly needs to be a tremendous sifting and sorting out within the one who prays. The prayer may be faultless but the one who prays is open to question because the reasons why he wants to be out of trouble and trial may be wrong. This, to a certain extent, is what was in the mind of James when he was writing on the subject – James 1: 2- 5. The real reason why there is a request for the Lord to step and work must be analyzed and it must not be for selfish reasons Prayer gives the great opportunity of resolving the character within and to eliminate unworthy motives.
  • There has to be the recognition continually that He alone is to be glorified in the circumstances and at the end in the answers. There must be the avoiding of glorying in ourselves and in our testimonies, great and wonderful as they may be. The Lord alone is deserving of all the glory because if it had not been for Him hearing and acting the individual would have been utterly devastated by the pressure and the crises. He is the One that has been doing the delivering and helping so He alone is to be praised. The test has not simply revealed how good we’ve been, but how good He has been! It is good to have a great testimony, but better still, it is better to respect the great God who wrought the testimony!

“The next time you are overwhelmed, instead of asking: “How can I get out of this mess? Try asking, How can God be glorified in this situation.” Rob Morgan

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