Turn to God In Times Of Trouble
E. Russell King
What a joy it is when we are blessed with well-being, when peace and tranquility attend our way. We diligently seek for a continuation of this blessing and do all within our power to avert every intervening situation. Accordingly, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). It is our fervent prayer that Jehovah will exercise His providential care over us to the fullest extent of His divine will, helping us to avert being caught up in and/or overcome by the forces of evil.
However, because of our own fallible nature and the fruit thereof, influenced by the perverse ways of humanity as well as out-of -control nature, there are times of trouble that overtake people, communities, and nations. It is then that the righteous bow themselves in deeper sincerity before the All-Powerful, beg for His mercy, and “according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). That passage sits in the context of Jehovah God’s taking judgmental action upon evil, the consequences of which His children must suffer in times of trouble. This was not ordinary trouble; it was to be, Peter said, a “fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12), and, in so doing, they would “share Christ’s sufferings.”
As for such “times and seasons” (the events and when) Jesus said, “it is not for you to know” (Acts 1:7; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1). However, the person who is knowledgeable of what constitutes the righteousness of God and closely observes societal and national evil trends, can know for sure that there is a pending judgment; they just do not know when! There are natural consequences of evil doings, plus an ultimate judgment from God. The United States of America is not impervious to the consequential fallout of evil!
For too long we have tended to trust in our nation’s financial strength, wisdom, and powerful weapons rather than trusting in God Who is our refuge. In so doing, there has been a trend to lower our moral and spiritual standards to the level of our own wisdom and lustful desires. Things which God called evil are being redefined as being good — a terrible sin committed by Israel (Isaiah 5:20), for which, except for the providential working of God, they were almost annihilated.
In our present-day society, religion has tended to be that of man’s own choosing and righteousness is of his own making, all organized according to society’s lustful passions. We must fervently retain (and our nation must return to) a reverent trust in Jehovah God, and, turning away from sinful practices, do the will of God from the heart. Otherwise, we have no real and lasting refuge or “… a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God.” (C. B. McAfee)
There are strong forces of evil currently present in our world which, if allowed to prevail, will deprive us of physical sustenance and, especially so, access to God through Jesus Christ. This evil cannot be thwarted or destroyed by all the weaponry of our nation’s arsenal, a present symbol of false security while the nation’s “ark of the covenant” has been or is being cast out.
The only weapon available to mankind that can defeat that force of evil is the “sword of the Spirit” because that evil is an overpowering evil from the heart. Only by turning to God and trusting in Him can we have any true sense of security, for it is by the providential working of God that we in times of trouble can expect to be delivered from evil. The message from God delivered by Peter to the doomed Jews in Jerusalem, as one translator put it, “So change the way you think and act, and turn to God to have your sins removed” (Acts 3:19a), is as pertinent today as it was in AD 30.
“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9, 10, NKJV).
Diligently develop the determination expressed by Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). –Rt 5 Box 310-A, Keyser, WV 26726.
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