When Trouble Comes

“Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”

— Job 5:7

“You’re in trouble.” If you’re a living, breathing human being (and if you can read this, I assume you are), those words apply to you. We don’t like this fact of life, but we just can’t escape trouble. Because we live in a sinful world, we can expect it. But though we can’t avoid trouble, we can determine how we’ll handle it. In fact, our lives are shaped, to a large extent, by how we deal with the troubles that come our way. Some people face trouble with despair, others with hope. Some approach trials in the agony of doubt, others in faith.

But what does trouble do in our lives? Some troubles can act as preparation. They clear the way for God to do greater works in our lives. When God sent His Son into the world in preparation for His greatest work—our salvation—there was great trouble on the earth. Herod commanded the massive slaughter of the innocents at Bethlehem. But that pain ushered our Savior into the world. Trouble can act as the grindstone upon which God sharpens the ax of battle.

Trouble can also be education. We learn things when in trouble that we don’t learn any other way. Many have risen from the furnace of affliction to say they’ve heard God’s voice as never before. Dear friends, stars come out only at night. We learn lessons in the darkness that we never learn when the sun shines brightly.

In addition, trouble can be revelation. As we endure our troubles, we learn a great deal about our character. Shadrach’s, Meshach’s, and Abednego’s characters were never more fully revealed than in the glow of the open door of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. When the heat is on, the real person emerges.

Is trouble hounding you today? Instead of attempting to avoid the inevitable, seek the Lord in your trouble and allow Him to prepare you, educate you, and reveal your character according to His design.

“Even a misfortune may prove useful in three years.”
Japanese Proverb