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From the Pastor's Heart

Looking to God in Times of Trouble

Dr._Robert_KennedyAs I look at the conditions of the world this week and seek to select a theme for reflection, and to ask what it says about religion and faith, I must confess, there is more than I can reflect on. The dumping of radiated water in the sea around Japan, the prospect of a government shutdown here in the United States, the battles in Libya, Ivory Coast, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are all issues that have caught my interest. Whatever else may be said, it is most evident that we are living in a crumbling world. This, of course, makes most significant the words of the old spiritual, “If ever we needed the Lord before, we surely need him now.”

 

Yes, as we look at the present conditions, such questions come to mind as, how much are we depending on God today or how much do we trust our own efforts and expertise? Are the things happening around us giving us greater reasons to look to God or are we looking to our own resources? Do we recognize God as our helper or are we expecting the political leaders who seek to serve their own interests to resolve things for us? I ask these questions because it seems a majority of persons today, even some Christians, are treating God as if he is not as important as he used to be. I am calling for us to be re-sensitized to the words of Scripture that say “call upon me, in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you and you shall give glory to me.” It is said that, “Some Christians seem to look upon God as a kind of spare tire. A spare tire is forgotten for months at a time until suddenly we have a flat on the road. Then we want the spare tire to be in good condition, ready for use. Just so, many forget God during all the times when things go well, and then in an emergency they want God to be on hand, immediately ready to hear and answer their cry of distress.”1

The real issue is not only that we call to God when we are in trouble but that we constantly recognize our relationship with God so that when we are in trouble we will easily find his help. We are told that:

    “The way to the throne of God is always open. You cannot always be on your knees in prayer, but your silent petitions may constantly ascend to God for strength and guidance. When tempted, as you will be, you may flee to the secret place of the Most High. His everlasting arms will be underneath you.  {HP 86.2}

    We come to God by special invitation, and He waits to welcome us to His audience chamber. . . We may be admitted into closest intimacy and communion with God.  {HP 86.3}

    Pray with humble hearts. Seek the Lord often in prayer. In the secret place, alone, the eye sees Jesus and the ear are opened to Jesus. You come forth from the secret place of prayer to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . . {HP 86.4}

Yes, trusting ourselves or even the experts does not carry the same kind of promised resolution as when we put our trust in God and God alone.

Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

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