Don’t we all spend time thinking that no one knows the trouble we’ve seen? We’re quick to say that we know other people have it so much worse, but in our hearts we are twice as quick to begin sending invitations to our own pity party. Yet, trouble is a very real part of life. For a Christian or anyone else to say that life can be trouble-free is simply not true. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When we look closer at the verse though, we see more than just an acknowledgement of the presence of trouble; we see Jesus directing our attention away from the trouble and calling us to place of focusing on Him. He means for you to find great comfort in those simple words, “But take comfort”. He offers you a place of rest in your struggle.
Psalm 56 is another place where we see this redirection. The great king David was no stranger to turmoil. He had many enemies through his life. Some of them were even created by his own hand. In Psalm 56 we see a pattern that is common in many psalms. David names his enemy, speaks directly to God concerning his struggle, but continually turn his focus to God’s strength and help. In Psalm 56 he is so aware of God’s care that he says, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” David believes with all of his heart that God is very aware of the delicate condition of his heart. And he finds great comfort in this truth.
Perhaps as you read this you disagree. “If God knows my trouble He certainly doesn’t seem to offer help,” you might be saying. In both of these passages there is a great window of human responsibility that has been opened. Jesus calls people to place their trust in Him. David shows us that he makes a real choice in turning his gaze away from the trouble and putting his focus on God. If you are to know the peace and resolve offered by God, you must intentionally turn to him. Not only that, but you must humbly turn to him. This humility leads us to surrender our agenda and time table.
In your prayers and crying out to God, are you bring trust in God or simply a list of demands? It’s most natural for us to come to God with the rescue plan already figured out and expect Him to put it into action. That isn’t what God desires though. Nor is it how He typically works. He is looking for faith and trust. He is at work to change your perspective. Especially when you struggle.