The late and wonderful Louis Armstrong sang an old African American spiritual song, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, Nobody knows my sorrow…. Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down.. sometimes I almost to the ground…” I, like many, have great days and ‘not so great’ days. God never changes and is forever faithful in the great days. He may never change, but my days sure do. What are my expectations?
Some friends consider the troubles I encounter as something strange that has happened to me. Are they? As far as I can tell, we are not only promised blessings, we are promised the sufferings and I am not surprised nor do I consider it ‘strange.’ (1 Peter 4.12)
Romans 8.18 tells me “…I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!” Any suffering brings with it God’s attention and ultimate good from it.
Seems to me that I have struggles come now and again and I do not know what is around the next bend. Jesus comforts me in John 16.33 – “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
God is able to help with every struggle and each struggle is an opportunity to grow, know Him better, and prove His faithfulness. A great man of God, George Mueller, said, ‘great faith is birthed from great trials.’
I love when David boldly shares in 1 Samuel 17.34-37 – And David said to Saul, your servant kept his father’s sheep. And when there came a lion or again a bear and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and smote it and delivered the lamb out of its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard and smote it and killed it. Your servant killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God! David said, The Lord Who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the Lord be with you!” I want that kind of faith. I want the faith that says no matter what happens to me today, God is my Defender, Protector, Counselor, Help, and my Everything. I am going to be still and know He is God. (Psalm 46.10)
I also want to proclaim the truth and say – “God, Your Word says, ‘when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight,’ (Isaiah 59.19) and [For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us[from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself] (2 Corinthians 1.10). No matter how many times I need Him, He will be faithful to care for me and what concerns me and the ones I love.
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