By G. D. Watson
“Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” – Job 5:6-7
When in trouble do not blame others. Do not charge our mishaps and grief to other people or even to the agency of evil spirits, although all these things may have been important factors in the case. To blame others with our trouble will work many evils, for it prevents the thorough renouncement and humiliation of ourselves, which is the very condition of having the favor of God. It also sours the heart and embitters the mind, clouds the natural faculties, and thus poisons the very fountains of our spirits, which God purposes to be sweetened and mellowed by the very trouble that we are disposed to complain of. Above all things, there must not even be a thought of charging our disasters on God. 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 victory for a long time, if not forever. To lay the blame of any of our troubles on others protects the self-life in us and nourishes self-esteem, and keeps alive a subtle form of self-righteousness, which is the very thing that trouble should be the means of extirpating. Anything that ministers to the protecting of the self-life will only prolong our troubles. Our quickest way out of trouble is when we come to the realization of our utter helplessness.
The Holy Spirit prescribes a remedy for people in distress. He says, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble” (Psa. 41:1). A multitude of persons passing through great distress have taken heed to this prescription and diligently helped out the poor and relieved their needs, and almost immediately God had wrought a peculiar and beautiful deliverance for them.
I knew a wealthy man many years ago, who was passing through great distress and trouble on several lines. He felt nearly crushed and turned to God in an agony of prayer. Looking 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 inquired for the names and addresses of those who were the poorest in connection with the congregation. 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 became light and cheerful, and he told me that in a few days God wrought most marvelously in his behalf. I have acted on these principles several times and found God’s peculiar smile. The principle of self-sacrifice, not as a beautiful theory, but carried out in sober, 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 from the wilderness of affliction by simply turning aside from our distress and looking after the welfare of others, who are probably suffering more than we are.
If all those who are in great distress will shut themselves in with much secret prayer, with a fixed determination to find God’s will, and a deep, settled purpose to obey Him at all costs; and if they will take time to search his Word and pray wholeheartedly, accompanied by fasting, God will most assuredly reveal Himself to such souls. Nothing but great trouble will plow up the deepest depths of the human heart, and 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 creature helps, to the aid of earthly friends and to all our own resources, and let ourselves drop into the fathomless bosom of God, deeply feeling our need of Him and taking Him as our personal, private and particular Friend, and seeking everything from Him alone, the better for us, for this is the place that we must come to in the end. There is no sorrow on earth, nor any possible trouble coming to a human being 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 exceeding 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, within and without, until grief and trouble, and anxiety of all shapes and all degrees, vanish away beneath the ocean of divine love; and make even the remembrance of all our troubles a sweet means of grace to draw the soul deeper into God.
Victory over Trouble was taken from The Heavenly Life by G. D. Watson, condensed and revised, and may be reproduced and distributed.