Trouble, trials, and tragedy strike every person who has ever walked upon the earth. When trouble comes, do we blame God? Do we ignore God; or do we trust Him?
King David had his share of problems, but he never forgot the Goodness of the Lord. He writes: “O taste and see that the LORD IS GOOD: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8) How does God show His goodness in the troubles, trial, and tragedies of life?
1) God shows His goodness in His attributes. “The Lord is Good” Every attribute reflects His Goodness (How well do I know Him?)
2) God shows His goodness in His promises. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: ” (2 Peter 1:4) (Do I know and believe His promises?)
3) God shows His goodness in His Actions. “Thou art good, and doest good” All that God does is Good. (Psalm 119:68) (Do I believe that “All things work together for good to those that love God.” (Romans 8:28)
4) God shows His goodness in His Love. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3) God’s love is His motive for what He is doing in our lives (Do I believe that God loves me with an unconditional and unending love?
5) God shows His goodness in His Wisdom. ” In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3 ) God’s thoughts are way beyond our comprehension. (Do I trust in God’s wisdom or mine own wisdom?)
In the midst of trouble, trials and tragedy, remember the Goodness of God. God’s plan for our lives is the result of His goodness, even when there is pain in the process. Will we trust in His Goodness today?
Ruins tell the story of decay, neglect and destruction. Our spiritual lives can also face times of ruin and decay. We feel hopeless and in despair. The Prophet Jeremiah faced a time in his life when he was in the midst of the ruins of Jerusalem. Babylon had completely destroyed the city. All hope was gone. How did Jeremiah handle this hopeless condition? How can we handle our hopeless condition?
Jeremiah, in the midst of the ruins of Jerusalem, looks up to God. He says in Lamentations 3:21: “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” He knows in himself there are no answers: ” My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:” (Lam 3:18) However, he knows that his hope is in God alone.
When we are facing hopelessness in our lives, our only hope is in the Lord alone. We must take our eyes off the ruins around us and in us, and focus on the Lord. Jeremiah focuses on five attributes of God that brings great hope in his life in spite of the ruins around Him.
1. God is Merciful– “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, ” (Lamentations 3:22) We find hope in His forgiveness, as we come to Him with a repentant heart.
2. God is Compassionate. “because his compassions fail not.” (Lam. 3:22b)
We find hope in his compassion. He does love us even in the midst of our hopeless situation.
3. God is Faithful– “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness“. (Lamentations 3:23) We find hope in His faithfulness to keep all of His promises.
4. God is Omnipresent. (He is with me) ” The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” Lamentations 3:24 We find hope in His presence. He walks with us in the midst of the ruins and the rebuilding thereof.
5. God is Good. “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Lamentations 3:25 We find hope in the will of God, which is always for our good.
What will we do in the midst of our hopelessness? Will we stay defeated and discouraged or will we look up to our great and mighty God? Jeremiah discovered great hope in a hopeless situation and so can we!!
Temptation to sin is something every believer experiences. Our Lord Jesus Christ faced direct temptation from Satan; yet He never yielded to the temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11)
THE SOURCES OF TEMPTATIONS
Temptation comes in many forms; but the three main sources of our temptations are:
1. The flesh-” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
2. The devil-Genesis 3:1-10 (The tempting of Eve)
3. The world, which refers to the system of thinking that is against God. “
“And be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2)
Temptations can come upon us in a very subtle fashion to cause us to sin against God; or they can come suddenly with great strength. Are we prepared to face the temptations that will come our way?
THE RIGHT PREPARATION FOR TEMPTATIONS
Before any temptation strikes, we need to be prepared by means of our daily walk with God. These questions should help to see how prepared we are to face temptations that will come our way.
1. Is my whole heart seeking after God out of my love for Him? “With my whole heart have I sought thee:” (Psalm 119:10)
2. Is the Word of God implanted in my heart? ” Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
3. What brings the most delight in my life? “I delight to do thy will”
4. How is my prayer life? ” Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18)
5. Am I in regular fellowship with other believers? “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
6. Have I laid aside every thing that hinders my Christian growth? “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us”. (Hebrews 12:1)
Joseph, Daniel and others were able to resist temptation because they were prepared beforehand. What about us? Are we prepared for the temptations that will come our way?
Why do I feel alone? Does anybody care? Does anybody understand what I am going through? Where is God in all of this?
“He calleth HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME, and leadeth them out.” (John 10:3) What a comforting thought, our Good Shepherd knows us! In God’s eyes, we are not a number, but we are the objects of His love! He knows what we are thinking. He knows our sorrows and joys. He knows our defeats and victories. He knows our loneliness and confusion. He is there to take us in his arms and say: “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
We don’t have to walk alone. Jesus knows us and He knows the way!
FOUR VERY COMFORTING WORDS! “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for THOU ART WITH ME; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
1. When I am lonely, thou art with me.
2. When I am discouraged, thou art with me,
3. When I am without hope, thou art with me.
4. When I am sick or facing death, thou art with me.
5. When I am confused, thou art with me.
6. When I am lukewarm spiritually, thou art with me.
7. When I am facing a trial, thou art with me.
8. When I am being tempted, thou art with me.
9. When I am sorrowful, thou art with me.
10. When I am rejected, thou art with me.
Let Jesus walk with you today, no matter what you are facing.
Fear of the future? Fear of failure? Fear of death? Fear of rejection? Yes, fear comes in many forms. Do we have to continue to live in fear?
“There is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. “(1 John 4:18)
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me,and delivered me from all my fears.”
(Ps. 34:4) Fear doesn’t have to control us. God gives us the antidote for fear.
1. Remember His Perfect Love
2. Seek to Enjoy the Presence of God
3. Take your fears to the Lord.
Fear brings torment, but God is greater than any fear!