We hear the old saying, "When it rains, it pours." This means that when difficult things happen, it happens in multiple ways. Have you ever stopped and said, "God, what else can happen? I don't think I can take another thing?" You know the times. In a matter of just a few days your child gets sick, the car won't start, and you get laid off from your job.
This is actually true and can be found in the Word, although stated differently. James 1:2 is clearly one such parallel Scripture.
James 1:2 ESV Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
The Greek translation would make this verse say...
You are to command joy and have the rule over and govern joy when you are surrounded with various and manifold evil experiences and adversities.
This means that we will face adversities and evil experiences that are many different sizes and shapes and in number at the same time. It is a Biblical truth. Some will come as God allows our faith to be tested to grow us up. Some will come as a result of our own disobedience and sin. Either way they will come.
There is another saying that is common among mankind, "that's the last straw that broke the camel's back." Basically this old proverb says that we have a mental and physical breaking point when we face adversity and hard times and that we cannot go on. It assumes that we know what that breaking point is. However, God says that He knows the temptations we face and will make a way for us to escape before we reach the breaking point.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV (13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Have you ever been in a difficult trial or in a dry wilderness place and you knew that you were in the trial or wilderness place because of your own sin and poor decisions? You knew that you SHOULD cry out to God for help and really NEEDED to cry out to God, but you were afraid to do so because of your sin.
Maybe your problems, trials, or wilderness place is not due to deliberate sin, but rather because of immaturity or wrong decisions based on the flesh. Sometimes even though I have prayed for guidance and wisdom, I still have done something that resulted in a heap of trouble. What should we do at such times?
Psalm 25 teaches us to seek God in the hard times, no matter for what reason we are in those hard times. It seems that James 1:5-6 is a New Testament summary of Psalm 25.
James 1:5-6 ESV If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
The context of James’ counsel is that we all need God's wisdom in the midst of various trials. James tells us by faith to seek God and His wisdom in our trials. This is the same thing that David tells us to do in Psalm 25.
GOD'S GLORY and OUR GOOD: No matter how difficult your trials or what their cause, seek the Lord for His wisdom and trust Him to work things out for His glory and for your good.
David cries out to the Lord to teach him God's ways. We could say that this Psalm is a school-book lesson on how to live by faith so as to please the Father and be blessed by Him.
Psalms 25:4-5 ESV Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. (5) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalms 25:8-9 ESV Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. (9) He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
I will be exploring Ps.25 in this topic of seeking God in the hard times. The hard times could be our health. It could be our finances. It could be broken or damaged relationships. The hard times could be a result of choosing to live in a sin that you know is wrong, against God, damages your testimony, yet you can't seem to break the cycle.
Psalms 25:1 ESV Of David. To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
The first thing we see in Psalm 25 is that King David is offering up his heart to the Lord.
If we are currently in hard times we have many choices. We can try though our own power, experience, and intellect find a way out. We can give up, grit our teeth and determine that this is a part of life as long as we are 98.6 and breathing and accept the hard times and live with them.
Or we can truly seek the Lord in the middle of the hard times. The first step in this is to give up our heart to the Lord. It is admitting that you are at wits end and that even if you die you will love, worship, and praise the Father.
Psalms 107:26-30 ESV They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; (27) they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. (28) Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. (29) He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (30) Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.