Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Talking About Trouble

Scriptures: Job 2:11-13, Job 5:6-7, Psalm 139:23, Zechariah 13:9,
Psalm 46:1, Psalm 34:6, Job 19:25-26, 2 Tim 1:12

On Sunday, June 22nd, Pastor Lorne was back in the pulpit. He said he wanted to talk about trouble. He said trouble is something that follows us around. It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do or who you are. Trouble is always there.

Pastor Lorne said Job (pronounced jōb) in the Bible, is a good example of someone who had trouble. Job had everything and lost it all. His family. His livestock. His health. Even the respect of his wife.

Pastor Lorne said every time he thinks about Job, he thinks about those guys sitting there on the ground, day in and day out for a week. (Job 2:11-13) He said you’d have to be a pretty good friend and he didn’t know if he could that for a week without talking. (Laughter)

He asked us to turn to Job 5:6-7 which reads, ‘For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward’. Pastor Lorne explained this to mean trouble doesn’t grow like wheat or oats. You can’t say, ‘Here’s hardship, let’s pull it up or spray it away’ like you would a weed. You can’t say, ‘Look! Here comes trouble.’ It’s not a tangible thing. You can’t touch it. Trouble isn’t something we can wrap in plastic and then point to it and say, ‘that’s my trouble for the year’ and unwrap it when it’s convenient.

There are some preachers who say if you’re a born again believer and know the Lord, then you should never have trouble. You should always have money in bank, be healthy, etc. Pastor Lorne said it sounds good and if we live in faith, it could be that way, yet as he studies, he’s read how some of the greatest men in the Bible suffered and experienced the most trouble of all:

  • Abraham – who had lots of servants and animals but could only keep half

  • David – who even though he was called a man after God’s own heart, spent most of his life as a fugitive, spurned by even his own family and all sorts of trouble in his life

  • Hosea – who faced trouble after taking back his prostitute wife

  • Jeremiah, and many more men who were called of God but who faced troubles.

  • And what about Paul? His life was full of trouble. He spent more time in prison than anywhere else. He was shipwrecked 3 times, got beaten, and yet he was a great man of God.

  • And of course Jesus who wasn’t accepted. He was ridiculed, mocked, and persecuted. Yet he was the Son of God.
These were heroes of faith and yet they experienced trouble in their life.

Pastor Lorne said the same holds true for most of us. He doesn’t know anyone who floats along without trouble.

So what happens when you get into trouble? Pastor Lorne said the 1st thing we should question is if there is sin in our life. He said sometimes God uses situations or circumstances to bring something to our attention. Something that He’s not pleased with.

When we get into trouble we should take stock of our lives and as David says in Psalm 139:23, we should pray, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.’ And we should use this as an opportunity to fix whatever is wrong with our lives.

In the Old Testament, God let more things happen so that His people would come back to Him, but in the New Testament, it doesn’t seem to be as predominate due to God’s grace and Jesus.

But another reason for our troubles could be to strengthen us, refine us and make us more pure. Pastor Lorne asked us to turn to Zechariah 13:9 (2nd last book in the Old T) He said 2/3rds of the people had gone after their own ways, were struck down and perished. But in v9 God says, ‘This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people’, and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' So, Pastor Lorne said, we go through trouble so God can develop us into something pure and clean. Like silver and gold that must be melted down so that the impurities are sifted out. It makes us stronger and a little tougher so we can stand the rigors of life over time.

To get back to Job, Pastor Lorne asked, do we wonder why him? The Bible says he not only feared God but he reverenced Him. He trusted Him. He even made sacrifices on his children’s behalf in case they sinned. God even bragged about Job to Satan. So why would Job have trouble? Pastor Lorne said God used Job as a witness to Satan and to the world of that day that Job served God not because of the things he had but he served God because he honored and revered God.

We know how well off Job was with a good family and then nothing, not even his health. And yet God brought him back to where he’d been but everything was better.

When we consider Satan, he looks for opportunities to cause trouble. Some people are like that, they do it just to cause a bit of fun. Then there’s others who stir things up to be conniving...like Satan. He does whatever he can to get in there and upsets things to cause trouble.

Pastor Lorne said sometimes we’re called to stand and not let Satan get in there. But God won’t leave you alone. In all situations, God is there to take you through it. Psalms 46:1 says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’ Remember that the next time you go to work and the back tractor tire is flat. Or you have no clean clothes for school and the washing machine is broken. Or your shoe lace breaks. Whatever it might be, remember the scripture that God is with you.

Psalms 34:6 says, ‘This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.’ When surrounded by troubles, David said he called to God and God heard him. When you run into trouble, know that you can run to God and He will deliver you.

Pastor Lorne said another scripture he really likes is Job 19:25, 26 which states, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.’ Now here’s Job in all his misery and yet he knows he’ll see God when all was said and done. He still trusted in Him. He had assurance that he’d see God in the end.

Pastor Lorne said the final scripture he wanted to bring to our attention was 2 Tim 1:12. He said, now here’s Paul who went through all sorts of trouble. He was beaten, stoned, and jailed, and yet he says here, ‘That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.’ Paul was convinced that he could trust God and God would see him through anything.

Pastor Lorne didn’t know why he chose this message for us. He said it’s not that he saw anyone in trouble. He said he’s not the type to see someone do something and then feel like he’s got to preach about it on Sunday. He just felt all week that he should bring this message to us. He wanted us to feel persuaded in our heart and in our soul that God is able to see anything that is entrusted to Him.

Don’t give up. Don’t despair. Remember what David said: God will deliver you from all evil. God will walk with you. He will give you the power of the Holy Spirit in your life so that you can go right through trouble. You can be down with a fever, have a big bill to pay with no money in the bank, family problems or relationship problems. Pastor Lorne said he wants you to know that Jesus will be right there with you.

Pastor Lorne’s encouragement was to know that God loves you and cares about you not just when everything’s going good in your life but also when you’re down, and in need, and nothing’s going good and when you really don’t have any faith, and you just can’t believe anymore. Remember that God is still with you. Just call on Him and He will keep you and take you through it and bring you out victorious in the end.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

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