What do you do when you have trouble in your life? Where do you turn? Really? I know a woman who is always short of money. She never knows how she is going to pay the rent or electricity. She is always complaining she doesn’t have groceries, gas for her car, or money for anything else. Because when the rent was looming due over her and she really didn’t have any money she panicked. Instead of turning to the Lord and having faith that He would provide, she ran around like a chicken with her head cut off and looked for solutions everywhere but God. And a solution presented itself in a man, she called her friend. What a relief to her as he loaned her the money for her three months overdue rent with interest. For the next year she struggled to pay him back, his payments were so ridiculous that she still never had money. She faced him day after day in a shame that reminded me of forced servitude. She paid him back eventually and it came to about three times the original amount. But soon after she needed money again. Did she turn to the Lord? No, she turned to a payday loan. She is now in the never-ending cycle of paying back the loan and pulling out a new one the next day to live on.
Maybe your trouble is not like hers. But do you turn to God and have faith in His awesome sovereignty and the goodness of His plans or do you struggle to solve the problem yourself? Isaiah Chapter 30 addresses the Israelites who turned to Egypt to shelter them rather than The LORD. They put their trust in Pharaoh, a man who considered himself a god, rather than The Holy One of Israel Who Created the Universe and Holds the Future in His Hands. Verses 1-3 read,
““Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.”
Maybe you turn to the church. But do you really want God’s counsel or do you keep looking until the guidance you hear is what you want it to be? Verses 9-11 read,
“For they are a rebellious people,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
Trusting God to take care of you is not always the easy thing. It can look bad to sit back and rest in faith. Do you really trust the Lord or is that lip service? Do you turn to your Father, Savior, and Comforter when you are struggling, when you don’t know the next step, or need wisdom ad discernment? When enemies at work stand against you for no reason, do you turn to The Lord or do you head to H.R.? When you face tragedy and injustice do you turn to your government or the King of kings?
He is calling to people to turn to Him. Verse 15 reads,
“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Still people do not turn to Him. They prefer the struggle, they prefer to find alternative solutions, turning everywhere for rescue but The Author of Salvation. Your Mighty God has a plan and a purpose and He promised that His plan and purpose is good. He wants you to walk In His Way and be with Him. Verse 18 reads,
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.”
He gave us Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are reconciled to The Lord through the blood of Jesus. Jesus became our Teacher and His words and life are instructions for us to be like Him. But moreover He gave us The Holy Spirit who continues to teach and guide us, who gives us the faith, the power, and wisdom to walk in The Way. Verses 19-21 read,
“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
He doesn’t promise that we will not have any more problems, He promises that He will guide is in the steps He wants us to take, and He promises to take care of us through all of them if only we depend on Him and rest in Him rather than turn to idols for our deliverance. And of course, there is our ultimate hope being with Him forever in perfect love. Verses 23-26 read,
“And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.”
What a wonderful promise! There is another side to the coin, those who do not seek God’s True Eternal and Perfect Salvation will find the false temporary rescues of the world end in God’s Justice. Verses 29-30 read,
“You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones.”
Who do you turn to in trouble? Who do you turn to in joy? Where is your salvation? Ask yourself if you really turn to The Lord God of Hosts or if you turn to the solutions that make sense to the world.