Tactics for Trouble

TroubleI am a man of constant sorrow
I’ve seen trouble all my days…

Don’t know if this 1913 folk song would have the same appeal sung to the accompaniment of a shepherd’s harp as it does crooned by the Soggy Mountain Boys. But David had all the credentials necessary to sing the ballad with deep conviction. *

Dissed by older brothers, betrayed by King Saul whom he served as armor bearer and usurped by his son Absalom, David’s could own a personal acquaintance with trouble
. Job, the writer of the oldest book of the Bible observed, People are born to have trouble. And that’s just as sure as sparks fly up.
(Job 5:7)

 Through difficult experience, David developed a posture for facing and getting through trouble. Consider God, Consider the Test, Consider Your Response, Consider Your Confession

Consider God:  One of the reasons David is called a man after God’s heart is because he, first and last, acknowledged the Sovereign Lord. Shout with joy to God. (Psalm 66:1)God, you are awesome, your power is great. Your works are awesome. You rule forever. You watch the nations. (Psalm 66:3-7) An accurate view of God colors everything else.

Consider the Test:  A healthy view of God and His true and loving nature, brings proper prospective to our trouble. He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. But… You, oh God, tested us; you refined us like silver…you brought us to a place of abundance. (Psalm 66:9-12) The substance of the trouble – prison, burdens on our backs, men riding over us, fire and water brings about refining, to bring us to the place of abundance.

Consider Your Response:  Trouble is never pleasant, but at the risk of being cliché, it can either make you bitter or better. David’s response to the refiner’s fire is to worship. I will come to your temple… He brings offerings and fulfills his vows – the promises made when he was in trouble. (Psalm 66:13-15) Sound familiar? We make promises to God in the middle of trouble. “God, if you will get me out of this mess, I’ll …” Do you forget your vows once the trouble is past? David knew the essential value of fulfilling his vows. The one refined by trouble keeps his promises.

Consider Your Confession: Come and listen … let me tell you what he has done for me. (Psalm 66:16) David confesses the source of his help. He cried to the Lord, he turned his heart from sin and God surely listened and heard. (Psalm 66:19) David’s confession is always of our God who is mighty to save.

He will call out to me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in times of trouble. I will save him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15)

Trouble is all around me, but you keep me alive. You reach out your hand to put a stop to the anger of my enemies. With your powerful right hand you save me. (Psalm 138:7)

Are you in trouble?  If not now, then probably soon,you will be because Job was right when he said we are born to trouble. Don’t allow trouble to swallow you. Adopt David’s tactics. Consider the nature of God, consider the test you are in, consider your response, and consider your confession, –  your confession of faith.

Your troubles have come in order to prove that your faith is real. It is worth more than gold… 1 Peter 1:7

*  [i]   http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/obrotherwhereartthou/iamamanofconstantsorrow.htm[ii]“Man of Constant Sorrow” (also known as “I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow”) is a traditional American folk song first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. The song was originally recorded by Burnett as “Farewell Song” printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, circa 1913. An early version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928 (Vocalion Vo 5208).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_Constant_Sorrow 
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