Though I walk in the midst of trouble..
What happens when we get into the midst of trouble, hardship, pain and suffering but we aren’t getting out of it anytime soon?
Does it mean that God has abandoned us like Job’s wife seemed to think? Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9 NKJV) It’s so easy to feel this way when we are hurting and suffering. It feels like we’ve been left alone.
The truth is that there will always be a storm. No matter who we are; what we do. There will always be a hardship that we have to deal with. It may be small. It may be HUGE. However there is always something with which we are going to be dealing.
Psalm 138:7 NJKV
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.
David knew all about “walking in the midst of trouble”. He was anointed as King while someone else was already king. He ran for his life and hid in caves from Saul for eight years. He learned how to live and depend on God on the run and in the darkest of times. The words that he wrote in Psalm 138 weren’t just words – they were battle-tested. He knew they were true because the Lord had revived him again and again.
Events like that will cause us to make some assessments of our lives. It will cause us to do one of two things: We will either become bitter and hateful or we will decide to reach out to Him in our weakness. We will realize that only God is our lifeline and our hope.
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Stripped naked, beaten, thrown into prison, their feet put into stocks. This is where Paul and Silas found themselves. They were definitely “walking in the midst of trouble” and all because of the name of Jesus. They now had a choice. We all do when we find ourselves in situations where things are impossibly tough. Of course, it’s all relative. Things might not be Paul and Silas tough or maybe they are. The point is that we all go through the hardships and the sufferings. And we all come to a place where there is a choice. We come to the end of ourselves and we have to make a decision: What now?
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Thanksgiving is a choice. Praise is a decision that we consciously make. It comes out of great hardship and pain. It comes from the breaking of the heart and then the breaking of the dawn. One cannot understand great praise until they have understood great pain.
Many, many Christian leaders have suffered greatly in some way. They have endured a tremendous loss or heartbreak and have had to learn to praise the Lord in the worst of times.
Greg Laurie and Rick Warren each lost a son.
Steven Curtis Chapman lost his daughter when his son accidentally backed over her.
Jeremy Camp's first wife died of ovarian cancer.
Rick Heil, lead singer from Sonicflood had Crohn’s disease for years but has since been miraculously healed.
Sanctus Real’s lead singer, Matthew Hammit's son, Bowen was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Stryper’s lead singer Michael Sweet’s first wife died of ovarian cancer.
Worship leader, Brenton Brown has M.E. (named Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the US).
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Praising God is not necessarily done because we feel like it. It’s done out of the sacrifice of our hearts. There can be no real, true sacrifice until we know what it feels like to give up something. It is the continual laying on the stone of sacrifice – our will, our health, our joy, our child, our last bit of hope – whenever we are left barren.
This is an impossibly difficult thing to do. How can this be done? We can only offer this type of sacrifice through one name. Jesus is the only man who could understand every suffering and Jesus is the only God worthy to whom we can offer our praise.
However that is not all! When we make our sacrifice of praise and we metaphorically lay our suffering on the cold, hard stone we openly profess the name of Jesus – just like every one of these leaders. Above the pain and the heartache, Jesus becomes the fruit of our lips and that fruit multiplies.
Those times that we have “walked through the midst of trouble”, we might have picked up a “battle scar” or two. Some of us may even be ashamed of their suffering scars but they shouldn’t. Yes, we may have scars but we are beautiful because now we resemble our Savior. God bless!
© Copyright Anne Schickowski, 2013
About the copyright: please feel free to share, repost or print a copy for yourself or friends as long as you retain and attribute it to the above copyright info and link back to either http://www.facebook.com/thewatchmanscall or http://thewatchmanscall.com