Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Standing in trouble

I hope you've been watching news this week. Words like navy seals, London riots, Afghanistan, Syrian unrest, stock market loss, political division, starving children, and polygamist abuses have peppered the daily reports. In my email this morning, I found a writer calling for civil disobedience in our nation's capital. Trouble.

Standing in trouble takes trusting in God.

As King of the nation of Israel, David knew the meaning of trouble and the nature of fickle affection. He even knew what it meant to be the cause of trouble, to have people vie for his royal role, to have some support and some hate, and he knew what it meant to watch others suffer. When he wrote the short royal Psalm 20, he gave the people a pattern for the attitude they should have toward their leader, and he wrote about the King himself. He was talking about God's chosen leader of Israel.

Does God still "choose" leaders for us today? Daniel 2:21 makes it clear that, "He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding ..."  God sets up the leaders in the world, allowing them to rule for a season. 

In verses 1-5 of Psalm 20 the attitude and response to the King is:
  • that God would answer when the King prays in times of need
  • that God's name would protect the King
  • that he would experience help from the "sanctuary," where God's presence was most felt
  • that the Lord would remember the offerings and gifts the King gives to God
  • that God would fulfill his plans and desires that come from God
  • that God would answer his prayers
  • that the people would rejoice when the King is helped and identify themselves as God's people
David challenged the fickle Hebrews to respond to their King with prayer and hope, knowing they could do that, because they ultimately trusted in God. Standing in trouble takes trusting in God.

David knew leaders are not the source of help; help comes from God. As a warrior who had been in violent battles and seen strength clash with fear, David had learned where to place his trust. 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. (vv.7&8)

We might not be talking about chariots and horses in our day, but we have stock portfolios and governments and armies and salaries and jobs and relationships where we often put our trust. God can choose to use anyone or any event He chooses, but HE is the source of victory, the only One worthy of our trust. Standing in trouble takes trusting in God.

My Dad and I were talking the other day about how the world seems to be shaking with trouble in every place. It can be overwhelming. It's part of what motivated me to join with World Help in the Got Milk project to provide milk for children for a single year. We've raised $4,155 of the needed $7,200.  The news and images of trouble motivated me to pray about how I can help in Africa, and God gave me S.O.S. ~ Somalia on Saturdays. Maybe God wants to use us to answer some of the suffering ... in HIS name. My Dad said he felt compelled to turn off the news and just pray. It's a great place to start.

Standing in trouble takes trusting in God.

  • Do you trust in God enough to pray for your leaders? 
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed or shaken by trouble in the world or in your own life?  
  • How has God been your help when you've trusted Him?

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