Getting Into Trouble
Job felt neurotic about trouble and had good reason to be disturbed. Life can appear as a series of train wrecks and we can all cop a similar phobic reaction as Job did. Job’s obsession with problems, after an initial stoic response, begins in Job 5 when he states:
Affliction doesn’t pop up out of the dust. Trouble doesn’t spring out of the ground.
But man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
Trouble and fire are paralleled in this phrase. When fire burns with intense passion, all kinds of sparks jump into the air. Fire is descriptive of the burning of chaff in our lives.
We’re born to trouble, or possibly the irony of this thought is, we’re brought to new, real life, by the baptism of fire- burning-uselessness out of our lives. But there’s a need for turning to Christ, to accept this trouble, to achieve God’s wonderful workings and effectively changed by the fire of trouble.
Job’s fixation with the irrationality of complex aggravations blasts out again in Job 14 where he disparages his life stating:
Man that is born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble.
It’s classic to ridicule the frailty of life and moan how fragile our existence really is. Trouble comes at us in many forms and in a variety of ways. But to see the Lord in it all is the glory of connecting with God’s person and His purposes in us.
The ESV renders Job 7 as:
Oh that my vexation was weighed, and my entire calamity laid in the balances! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; this is why my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me
In Psalms 3, the Psalmist is caging his feelings when he complains of troubles. Whatever the situation is, the constant hailstorm from people, or the blustering concentration of aggravating circumstances, it was exasperating to David.
Early in David’s life, Saul murderously chased him. In Psalm 3, it is Absalom, David’s son, who betrayed him, plotting his overthrow and assassination. Everyone and everything appeared to be against David. These problems all consumed him and made Him into the poet of feelings.
Trouble, like pain, awkward failures and random letdowns, can overwhelm our feelings and crush us within their engulfing chokehold.
But Jesus comes to us and says it’s all right, be encouraged. In this life, trouble and trials are the norm, but rejoice, celebrate trouble. Why? Because, He says, “I have overcome the world, I’ve handled everything life dishes out to you, and I’ll conquer problems in you, through you, and I’ll be there with you. Just open your heart up to My Spirit in your life.”
Trouble is meant to elevate us to Jesus.
Peter states it this way:
1 Peter 4:12-14: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Phillips renders these words in this manner:
I beg you not to be excessively alarmed at the fiery ordeals that come to test your faith, as though this were some abnormal experience. You should be glad, because it means that you are called to share Christ’s sufferings. One day, when He shows himself in full splendor to men, you will be filled with the most tremendous joy. If you are reproached for being Christ’s followers, that is a great privilege, for you can be sure that God’s Spirit of glory is resting upon you…
If you suffers as a Christian you have nothing to be ashamed of and will glorify God in Christ’s name.
Three times, in Psalm 3, the word Selah is employed. Selah can refer to a pause in a musical expression. This is a recess, a place to breathe in for a new vocal manifestation. We breathe in spiritual life and breathe out our personal Psalm to God’s glory as we raise our tune in praise.
It may also mean to pause and tune our instrument, torque the strings tight on the harp cords of our heart, and elevate the tone of our worship. This is what trouble adds to our soul, as we’re lifted higher to the face of our Lord and King.
As we see by the eye of faith what Christ is doing through the trouble He allows in our life we have a Selah; a pause. This is where we tighten our inner feelings and breathe in deeply to bring meaning out of all that is happening in our lives.
Psalms 3: PROBLEMS & POSSIBILITIES
Their Increase LORD, how are they increased that trouble me!
Their Insurrection many are they that rise up against me.
Their Intensification Many there be which say of my soul,
Their Insinuation There is no help for him in God. Selah.
Our Protection But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me;
Our Praise my glory,
Our Promotion and the lifter up of mine head.
Our Plea I cried unto the LORD with my voice,
Our Privilege and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
Silent Night I laid me down and slept;
Secure Nurture I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
Surrounding Numbers I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have
set themselves against me round about.
Powerful Possibilities Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God:
Past Performance for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone;
thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Present Promises Salvation belongs unto the LORD: Thy blessing is upon thy