By G. D. Watson
“Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” – Job 5:7
DO NOT blame others when in trouble. To blame others for our troubles will create many evils. It will sour the heart and embitter the mind, thus poisoning the very depths of our spirits, which God purposes to be sweetly mellowed by the very trouble that we are disposed to complain of. Blaming others will nourish self-esteem and protect the self-life in us. It will keep alive a subtle form of self-righteousness, which is the very thing that trouble should be the means of purging out of us. Anything that ministers to the protection of the self-life will only prolong our troubles, for it will prevent the thorough humiliation and renouncing of ourselves, which is the very condition of obtaining God’s favor. Above all things, there must not even be a thought of blaming God for our disasters. To be suspicious of God’s love for us will create something like a lump of iron in the heart, and it will stop our having victory for a long time, if not forever. Our quickest way out of trouble is when we come to the realization of our utter helplessness.
The Holy Spirit gives a remedy for people in distress: “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble” (Psa. 41:1). I knew a wealthy man many years ago, who was going through great distress and trouble in several ways. He felt nearly crushed, and turned to God in an agony of prayer. As he looked in his Bible he saw the words, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” He rose up at once from his knees and went to his minister and asked for the names and addresses of those who were the poorest in connection with the Church. He then sent for his wagon and had it loaded with food and clothing, and went to those families and supplied them abundantly. His heart then became light and cheerful. He told me that in a few days God had worked most marvelously in his behalf. I have acted on these principles several times myself and found God’s peculiar smile. The principle of self-sacrifice, not as a beautiful theory, but carried out in actual practice, is the very essence of the Spirit of Jesus. The apostle Paul tells us to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill this special law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). Many times there is a beautiful way out of the wilderness of affliction by simply turning aside from our own distress and looking after the welfare of others, who are probably suffering more than we are.
If those who are in great distress will seek God with much secret prayer, with a fixed determination to find His will, and a deep, settled purpose to obey His will at all costs; and if they will take time to search his Word and pray whole-heartedly, with fasting, God will most assuredly reveal Himself to them. Nothing but great trouble will plow up the deepest depths of the human heart. We will find when we pray through to victory, that God has been perfectly true and loving, and inexpressibly tender in all His dealings with us, and that He has never forsaken us for one moment, even when He seemed far away.
The sooner we are perfectly “dead” to all human help; dead to the aid of earthly friends and to all our own resources, and humbly bow before God, whose love is immeasurable, and deeply feeling our need of Him, take Him as our personal Friend, and seek everything from Him alone, the better it will be for us. This is the place that we must come to in the end. There is no trouble that comes to anyone that cannot be remedied by the pure, tender, boundless love of God imparted to us by the blessed Holy Spirit.
It is impossible to tell how much we can be filled with the love of God. It can fill the mind with much light and beauty, and fill the heart with calmness and sweetness and rest. It can fill the activities with zeal, refinement, and a discreet propriety. It can transform every part of our being until grief, trouble, and all anxieties, vanish away under God’s ocean of Divine love. God’s love for us can make even the remembrance of our troubles a sweet means of grace to bring our souls deeper into Him.
Adapted from The Heavenly Life, by G. D. Watson, and revised.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. – Psalm 41:1-3
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. – Isaiah 58:10-11
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