As I drove in my car recently, two verses collided in my mind.
One was a promise from Jesus—the other a command.
Jesus promised this: “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33 NIV)
That promise feels so negative, the opposite of what I want: a smooth life.
He adds this statement, which brings some comfort: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The command from Jesus, which also contains the word “trouble” resides in John 14. “Do not let your hearts be troubled…” (verse 1).
Jesus promises me I will have troubles, but then He lets me know how He wants me to view the troubles which come into my life. It comes down to this: “Don’t be troubled by troubles.”
How do I do this? The answer is right there in John 14:1: “…Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Repeatedly God brings me back to the subject of trusting Him. The question He has for me today: “Do you trust me in the midst of this latest time of trouble?”
My heart says, “I want to,” but at times I feel overwhelmed by all this trouble.
Today I looked up many other verses which contained the word “trouble.” I rejoiced over the promises contained in these.
I found another verse which promises troubles: “Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous…” (Psalm 34:19).
This verse contains a “good” promise attached to the promise of troubles, “But the LORD rescues him from them all.” All? Wow, what a great promise.
Here are some other verses, which contain the word trouble.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 NIV
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all His troubles. Psalm 34:6
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 37:39
For he has delivered me from all my troubles…Psalm 54:7a
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. Psalm 138:7
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Psalm 50:15
…for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16b
In the day of my trouble, I will call to you, for you will answer me. Psalm 86:7
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Psalm 107:6 (This verse is repeated a number of times in Psalm 107)
The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23
In 2 Corinthians 4:17 troubles are described this way: our light and momentary troubles..”
And then comes a wonderful promise, which contains the word “all.” are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
In Romans there’s a promise that trouble can’t separate us from the love of God.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35.
Romans 8:37 answers the question: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
As I looked carefully at these verses, I noticed certain requirements on my part: to be righteous, to call out to Him, to cry out to Him, to have regard for the weak, to fear Him. If I’m giving in to being troubled by my troubles, then I’m not embracing these. And I’m not trusting Him.
Often being troubled by troubles come when I try to figure things out on my own, blame others for my troubles, or become angry at God that He allowed them.
Being untroubled by troubles doesn’t mean I won’t feel pain or that my heart is breaking. It means I keep coming back to the place where I know God can be trusted, and I have nowhere else to turn but to Him. It also means when people look at me they won’t see me as troubled but as trusting the God who loves me and wants the best for me.
I want to embrace all of the good promises above. I especially like the one that says “rests content, untouched by trouble.” Now, that would be a miracle. But that’s who my God is—a miracle-worker.
Once again I bring my troubles to Him determined to trust Him and believe in Him as my rescuer. He’s already rescued me again and again from troubles in the past. Certainly, He’s able to do it again as I cooperate with Him. Lord, give me the grace to do just that.
One of my favorite “times of trouble” songs is “Your Hands” by J J Heller