“WHEN YOU ARE IN TROUBLE” By Pastor YAU
Text: Psalm 18:1-6 January 23, 2011.
1) This is what celebrities do: On a radio interview of a “crisis management” expert about how celebrities can do to recover from a public disaster. This specialist said on eof the keys to get out of trouble is to build strong allies who can help the stars rehabilitate his or her image. The point is when you are in deep trouble it is vital that you get the best ally you can get. No one can handle all troubles on his own. Some challenges are too big. Some mountains are too high. In our time of trouble, it is critical that we have strong allies to help us out.
2) This was what King David did: King David certainly knew who was his best ally when he was in great trouble. In Psalm 18:6, he affirmed, “In my distress I call upon the Lord and cried out to my God. He heard my voice from his temple and my cry came before him, even to his ears.” In our time of great trouble, there is no stronger ally than God. He alone can carry us through any trial of life. We have his words of assurance that he will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) When troubles hit, we don’t have to stand alone. We can come to God and depend on him to be our strongest ally we could ever know.
LOOK AT SOME OF THE TROUBLES:
1) Troubles among nations: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise against nation.” (Matthew 24:6-7) Wars and rumors of wars are not new but it has become more real and closer to us because of the open information network through news and the internet we have today. Wars on the other side of the world had influenced our life in a personal way. For over 50 years of the history of the United Nations is all about trying to stop wars from happening or to fight a war with more wars.
2) Troubles in security: Explosives found in a train near Rome, Italy, yesterday, Dec. 20. South Korea put on a live fire military exercise along the border with North Korea that has attacked a border island to the south that killed civilians and soldiers a month ago. Reports of radical Islamic terrorists intend to stage simultaneous attacks in the United States during the Christmas holidays and possible schemes of poisoning food supplies are just a few bad news of trouble on our security.
3) Trouble with economy: Economy and jobs or loss of jobs has become a worldwide problem in recent years. The Congress has just approved more benefits, the 9th, to extend unemployment benefits to 3 million people, to a total of $65 billion dollars. We see economic fallout worldwide and feel the pinch of it everyday. When someone in a family loses job, the family loses regular income from work, everyone in that family suffers. When a nation is in economic crisis, all people are in trouble.
4) Trouble in relationship: This is the most personal issue of all the troubles one may have: inter-personal relationship problems in marriage, family, on a job, with friends, in the church or the community. Broken relationship brings about strain mental and emotional stress. It contributes to strive, isolation, anger and even violent abuses. A good inter-personal relationship helps to build emotional security and mental sense of joy. Trouble in relationship can be devastating to all parties involved.
COMMON MISTAKES IN TIME OF TROUBLE:
1) Refuse to see the trouble: This is the most common mistake most people will do when they are facing troubles: deny the facts. Many people sincerely either deny or ignore the fact that they are in trouble. This may due to their pride or being blinded by being in the trouble. While many loving and caring close family and friends see trouble is on the way, some people just can’t see them or don’t want to see them until it is too late.
2) Refuse to let others know: Many people, including Christians, refuse to leak the bad news of trouble out when they are in deep water. Like someone in the family loses a job, has serious illness, have a wayward child, serious family struggle, these people will zip their lips so tight not to let anyone else know they have problems. They believe that having problems of any kind is a shame to their self-respect. They rather suffer alone without letting anyone else know.
3) Refuse to seek help: This is true mostly in family and marital troubles. Many couples, particularly husbands, refuse to seek help from pastors or professional counselors. Either they think they can handle their troubles by themselves or they don’t trust that professionals can help them deal with or solve their problems. Many otherwise salvageable marriages ended up in irreversible situation because one or both parties refuse to seek help from knowledgeable and experienced people until too late.
4) Seek help from wrong allies: From a US president to common people, one of the worst mistakes they make in time of trouble is to seek help from wrong allies, wrong people. This is true to teenagers as well as adults in high position and education. It is a terrible thing to seek advice from wrong people who can only get you into deeper water. Jesus warned us to be aware of “the blind leads the blind and both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
LEARN FROM A SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLE: (Psalm 18:1-6)
1) A close walk with God: “I love you, O Lord, my strength.” (18:1) Before King David calls on the Lord to help him in his time of troubles, he shows his love to the Lord. To David, God is not some super power to help him solve his problem when he needs him. David already has a close relationship with God all the way. His love of God shows the close tie he has with God. We need to spend time, heart and effort to build friendship with allies then we can call their help when we need them. We also need to prepare a close relationship with God so we can come to him to ask for help when we need him.
2) Recognize of God’s full power: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the born of my salvation, my stronghold.” (18:2)Besides a close walk with God, we also need to have a complete trust in the power of God like David did. To David, God is his everything, not just one of the allies but the ONLY ally he needs. This is how many of us fail to see God and his power. Most of us will try our strength first, if fail, then seek help from friends. When all human resource doesn’t help, then we will seek God. But that is not how David did. He came to God first because he knew God is all he needed.
3) Recognize our real troubles: “The cords of death entangled me and the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” (18:4-5)Until we completely understand our helpless situation, we won’t know how important it is to seek God’s help. The more we see our desperate situation, the more we will see how much we really need God for deliverance. This is very true in time of serious trouble and seeking of help. The same is true in seeking salvation of our soul from God.
4) Strong faith in God’s mercy: “In my distress, I call to the Lord. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (18:6) Jesus asked that we pray with strong faith in God’s mercy. He said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for.” (Matthew 21:22) King David has strong faith in God that He will hear his prayers from His holy temple with His attentive ears. Faith if the channel that carries God’s mercy and power to answer our prayers. God promised us that he will give when we ask, he will open the door when we knock and we will find him if we seek. God never hides his face from those who seek him.
1) Are you in trouble? Sometimes in our lifetime, we will be in some kind of trouble, everyone does. Some troubles are worse than others. It is nothing to be ashamed of and to admit that we have trouble and need help is not shameful either. We may seek help from God or people, but not to ignore our troubles. Denial will not put them away but only increase the weight of the situation. Being honest to face trouble is better than hiding them. Even Jesus said, “In this world, you will have troubles.” (John 16:35)
2) Look for best ally: It is vitally important that you have the best ally possible to stand by you when facing mountainous problem you cannot handle by yourself. Learn from King David that all you need in time of trouble is to have God stands by you. He always loves and cares those who call on His name. God wants to help you in time of trouble if you ask him to help you.
3) You are not alone: No one ahs to stand alone to face challenge of his life. All you need to is ask Jesus to enter your heart, take him as your Savior and Lord of life and He will take care of your many problems. He promised us, “Whoever comes to me, I will not drive him away.” (John 6:37) So, don’t delay to ask him to come into your heart to be your Savior and Lord.