The Trouble with Troubles

Have you ever been in the position where you keep hoping things will get better, easier, less painful, but they don't? In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we just see more of the same barreling towards us like a five ton elephant. Nothing against the pachyderms, in fact, they are one of my favorite animals. However, I wouldn't want to be standing on an open plain in Africa, with a large tusky male charging at me! So why shouldn't I feel troubled that difficulty only stands just far enough away to get a running start? Over and over and over.



Okay, so maybe I am part of the problem. I keep getting back up! Stupid! Just lay down. Let Jumbo squash me again and again. Somehow that seems less painful than getting up only to be knocked down again. 

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary
— Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

When I am in that prone position, having gotten run over for what seems like the millionth time, I am in a perfect place to look up. Oh, there are times, the charge comes from behind me and I end up face down in the savannah, but eventually I roll over and I see the sky. God's word says, "those that wait for the Lord will gain new strength." If I am weary, it is most likely the case that I am not waiting for Him. I am probably frantically running, trying to fix things, trying to hide things, trying to take control of a charging elephant. 



God knew this fragile thing He made called humanity would get weary. We would get fatigued, tired, worn out, done in, call it what you want, but He knew. He said, "They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary." That's why I keep getting back up. I'm supposed to keep moving. I'm supposed to run. I'm supposed to walk and when I can no longer walk I am supposed to mount up on wings.....His wings. The wings of the almighty Jehovah Eagle!

Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.
— Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest - July 4th


Life is not going to stop being difficult. That elephant is not going to stop charging, but God! God can give us rest. He can give us peace. He can! He will, but I have to want it. I have to want Him. Sure I can tackle the elephant on my own, but I guarantee, that big old difficulty is going to come out in better shape than I do. Unless....Him.

When in Doubt.

Have you ever struggled with doubt? If you haven't you must be an exceptional individual. Most of us doubt at some point. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our families, we doubt our friends, and we doubt God. Doubt can stem from fear and anxiety, unmet expectations, fatigue, and other factors.

James says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind" (Js. 1:5-6 NASB).

Photo Credit:  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo Credit: Rebecca Trumbull

When I sat down a few minutes ago to start working on this blog I was assailed by doubt. It's the same old voices. Softly, whispered poison,

"You're no good!"

"You have nothing to offer!"

"Why would anyone want to read your blog?"

I have been hearing these voices for most of my life. However, God had been speaking too. His voice is much clearer than the whisperers. I always know when the enemy is speaking, he whispers, not like a seductive lover, but like an annoying mosquito! He always condemns and criticizes. So I swat him away with a heavy duty fly swatter.

Romans 8:1(NASB), "There is therefore, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Many believe this verse only refers to the condemnation that comes from not being saved in Christ, but I believe it goes far deeper than that. I believe it is a weapon against the very doubts that so often hit us between the eyes. Once we are in the family of God, through our belief in Jesus Christ, we are no longer under any condemnation. Conviction, yes. If I sin, I come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

"You did something wrong."

That's it.

The voices of guilt and condemnation come after the fact and usually drag on and on.

Doubt is just another whisperer. If you are walking in the Spirit there is no reason to doubt. God doesn't play games with us. His commands are clear as written in His word, the Bible. 

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks..." I Thessalonians 5:16-18(NASB)

That seems pretty straight forward. That doesn't mean it is always easy. We are, much like the waves "driven and tossed by the wind." However, if we begin to recognize our struggle and our shortcomings we can ask God for help.

In the gospel of Mark (9:14-29 NASB) a man brings his demon possessed son to the disciples and asks them to cast the demon out. They are unable to do it. They bring the boy to Jesus and the boy's father says, "....But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!"

As a parent or a grandparent you can feel for this poor man who is nearly at the end of himself. His son has been this way since he was a small boy. He had probably seen all sorts of supposed healers and religious sorts promising a cure, to no avail.

Jesus' response to him is pointed, "If You can! All things are possible to him who believes."

"Immediately the boy's father cried out and began saying, 'I do believe; help my unbelief.'"

He knew his limitations. He understood his own struggle and he knew he needed help. He wasn't too proud to admit, "I don't get it! Help my lack of faith!" So, I am like that man, crying out, "I do believe," but recognizing my weak faith, I add, "help my unbelief."