What Do We Do When Trouble Comes?-Part 2

By: Nancy Missler; ©2001
Nancy Missler explains why it is important, in times of trouble, that we cease doubting, cease fighting, guard against discouragement, and stop blaming others.

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There are certain things God wants us to do when troubling times come into our lives. Last month we saw that we are to stand still, rest in God’s promises, and stop asking why. Now let’s look at some other things.

Cease Doubting

We have spoken about doubt several times already, but because this dark night is such a vulnerable time for us, doubt can become a major factor. It certainly was with me. We must not only cease striving in our own strength during this time, but we must also cease doubting Him. Don’t ask God why you have to go through this fire. This is not a time to speak to Him, but simply a time to humble ourselves before Him and suffer politely. Just know that what God is doing in you, and through you, is very important and essential for your growth.

It’s also important not to run to a friend or to the phone first, but choose, instead, to be alone with the Lord. Reaffirm to Him that all that matters to you is knowing and loving Him. Quote Psalm 73:25 to Him, “Whom do I have but You?” Say in faith, as Job did, “For I know that my redeemer liveth and… in my flesh, shall I see Him.” (Job 19:26)

Fast from any emotional or intellectual security of knowing, understanding and being right. One single attachment is enough to prevent you from attaining the union that God so desires. Be patient, believe in Him and listen for His voice. He knows about your every thought, emotion and desire.

The best thing you can do is to accept the trial graciously and stand back and see what God does. Surrender yourself to the suffering. Don’t look for a way out. Stay in the trial if that’s God’s will and be willing to die to your “self.” Be willing to be stripped naked and obliterated if that’s what He requires.

Cease Fighting

There is an instinctive rebellion in us against what is happening. It’s called “survival.” We must stop all efforts to deliver ourselves and learn to lean on His breast and trust in His Name. Because we feel what is happening is not deserved, not warranted and not fair, this is the time we often take matters into our own hands by “lighting our own fires.” This resistance we put up without realizing it is the source of much of our trouble and as Isaiah 50:10 tells us, if we do this, “we will lie down in sorrow and be destroyed.”

The less we struggle, the less it will hurt. We need to cease trying to figure out what God is up to and simply wait for Him to act. Cry out to Him, “Lord, I give up. I can’t fight. I confess my self-pity, my rebellion. It’s all yours. I’m simply going to trust You.”

Remember, the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. He has not forgotten us. He will always be faithful. Thus, we must stop acting like He has forgotten all about us and abandoned us.

We mustn’t pray for relief from the trial, but rather pray for strength to endure it with courage, humility and love, and to be changed by it. We won’t be able to weather the storms unless we are willing to persevere and overcome. Romans 5:3 tells us that tribulation brings about patience, and patience, if we allow it to, will bring about hope.

Much of our trouble springs from our not wanting to give up our attachments, our support systems and everything else we rely upon. The more we fight to save these things, however, the sharper our trials will become. If we can willingly surrender ourselves to what God is doing in our lives and permit the crucifying process to go unheeded, then the blows will be much softer and the process will go a lot faster. It is God who holds us fast to the cross and it is God who will loose us from that cross when He sees fit. No one can change His plans. We must simply seek His strength to endure.

Let’s keep our eyes upon Him and run towards Him like that eagle. Even if we don’t see Him or feel Him or understand His ways, He promises us that the darkness will eventually shrivel away and the light will begin to shine. “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness…” (Psalm 112:4).

All the trials and tribulations God has allowed are simply a part of the preparation process that He is implementing in each of our lives. These night seasons are a necessary part of learning to love and learning to know God intimately.

Guard Against Discouragement

As we read the words of David in Psalm 38, we find this godly, righteous man discouraged and at the end of himself. Listen:

I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long… I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart…My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me…I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. (Psalm 38:6, 8, 10, 13-14)

One of the things I struggled with the most in my own night season was discouragement. Nothing seemed to bring me down faster than allowing disappointment and discouragement into my soul.

When we become discouraged and, thus, cling to our anxieties, our fears and our self-pity, it not only strengthens them, it also impedes what God is trying to do. We must be careful not to fall into the mode of self-pity or wanting sympathy from others. Be assured, you won’t get it. And, besides, it doesn’t do any good anyway—we only end up deeper in the pit than when we started. Our eyes cannot be on anyone, or anything else, but God Himself. His approval and His support is all we need.

Our greatest failure during this time is in allowing our interior agitation and depression to become exaggerated. If we allow our negative thoughts to go unchecked, our agitation and our depression will not only quench God’s Spirit and deprive us of hearing God’s voice, but it will also become an obstacle to our union with Him.

It’s imperative to learn how to “see” in the darkness. Again, to see and to understand not so much what God is doing, but rather what He desires of us. We must continue to walk abandoned to His will and wait upon Him without any anxiety and without any hunger for any experience. Our dependence must rest completely in His Love and faithfulness so that, no matter what events are transpiring in our lives, our spirit and our inner man remain at rest. This is one of the main reasons God wants our inner man (our spirit) strengthened, so that what happens to us on the outside (our soul) does not determine our composure on the inside.

Stop Blaming Others

Another important exhortation is that, during this time, we must stop blaming others. When God has appointed us to suffer, He permits even the most virtuous people to be blinded towards us. Thus, it’s important not to harbor any resentment or bitterness against those involved in our trials. By blaming others, we really only condemn ourselves and that, of course, breeds more insensitivity in us. It’s critical that we not justify our own feelings or be governed by our self-righteousness.

God will repay those truly responsible for our troubles in His timing and in His way. He is our defense and our avenger. Psalm 94:22 tells us, “The Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” Only God knows the real truth and only He knows how to weave our lives together perfectly. We mustn’t try to vindicate ourselves, nor to help Him along. He will fight our battles for us. We must simply stand still and watch.

Pray for the others involved; don’t blame them; leave them in God’s care and in His hands. Thank Him in advance for delivering you out of their hands. And, above all, don’t give way to grief.

Also, don’t speak about your problems to anyone else. It only deepens your bitterness, programs those negative thoughts in deeper, and gives the enemy another “hole.” Therefore, try to speak well of the other people involved. Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

I know how very difficult this is to do, especially when we are “justified” by the world’s standards to be angry and bitter. But, giving way to our feelings and emotions about others at this time only makes us more miserable, the enemy happier and the whole process prolonged. I know! I’ve been there!

Submit to the confusion, the not knowing, the not understanding and the not being right. Put your reason aside and look only to God. Our reason cannot cope with the dark night that God allows. We must live by faith and wait for the Spirit to resolve it for us. We must remain receptive and positive, not expecting to understand God’s ways, but simply trusting Him in them.

(continued next month)

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