When Troubles Come Thick

There are times—and this may be one of them for you—when troubles come thick, and there seems to be no end, and you cannot touch the bottom with your feet. Man is born to trouble, as Scripture says, as the sparks fly upward. But here is the encouraging word.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Ps. 40:1-2).

God hears us when we cry out to Him. When it seems that He does not it is because He wants to deliver us from our troubles in a fashion that will glorify His name more, and which will be a greater delight to us when it happens. He is good, He is sovereign, and He is your God. This means that your troubles are perfectly suited to you. They are tailor-made, hand-stitched.

But we are not Stoics. The fact that all our troubles are perfect for us does not mean that we are to pretend that they are not troubles. No, they are troubles, but we are to receive them from the hand of the only wise God. But we do this by seeking the deliverance that is just as perfect for us as the troubles.

God writes perfect stories, and really good stories are full of troubles. Nobody would take the trouble to read The Lord of the Rings if the Council of Elrond had determined to have the eagles fly Frodo into Mordor to drop the ring into Mt. Doom as they flew over. A book without troubles is a book that no one would take the trouble to read.
God brings you through troubles so that He might be glorified when He brings you out of them. He is glorified when He takes you out of the  horrible pit, and sets your feet on the rock. This Table is that Rock. It is here that God will establish your goings.

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

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9 thoughts on “When Troubles Come Thick

  1. Doug, a potential minor quibble and a corresponding question:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was under the impression that when God is spoken of as “the only wise God” or “God only wise”, that this wasn’t a statement about the wisdom of God, per se, but about the exclusivity of God’s nature.  As in, “God is God in the only manner in which God can mean God”, or something like that.  Or, the God the Bible is the only True God, in more of a vernacular phrasing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         In your article, however, you seem to use the phrase as a declaration about God’s wisdom (in this case, God’s wisdom in bringing our particular and well-suited troubles to us).  Am I mistaken in my understanding about the phrase, or is there room for both interpretations? (or, though much less likely, are you using the phrase in an unlikely, confusing, or mistaken manner?)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Thanks much, love the blog.

  2. I used to think that about Lord of the Rings. It took me a while to realise how Tolkien used the story to grow the hobbits and test the wise ones. You did a series on ‘What I Learned in Narnia’, but another series could be made for Middle Earth. Lewis and Tolkien have shaped me beyond reckoning. I thank God for every remembrance of them.

  3. Yes, the best stories involve tremendous crises that the protagonists must overcome.  It is the ending that validates the rest, no matter how horrible it may seem at the time. 

  4. This was incredibly encouraging at a time when troubles in both my family and my husband’s family are definitely “thick”. Thanks so much for sharing the verse from Psalm 40. The internet, for all of it’s faults, is such a wonderful thing for giving me the means to be encouraged by a pastor I knew years ago who is thousands of miles away!

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