In your life, you are going to face trouble and problems. Things are going to be tough from time to time. You might be oppressed, hungry, imprisoned, blind, bowed down, orphaned, widowed or alone (stranger). What are you to do when you find yourself in this kind of trouble?
Praise the Lord – Ps 146:1-2 – We are instructed to praise the Lord. The psalmist said, “While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being,” (Ps 146:2). You know, it is easy to praise the Lord while everything is going your way. It is much harder to praise the Lord when things are “heading south.” In this Psalm, the psalmist encourages us to praise the Lord when we are in trouble. Praising the Lord magnifies Him and minimizes the trouble. It keeps our minds on Him and off the problems. We enjoy God and glorify Him despite our distresses. We become overwhelmed with Him rather than our trials. Paul and Silas did this when they were imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:22-25).
Trust God, not men – Ps 146:3-4 – We have a tendency as people to run to other people for help as soon as we need help. In Lk 8:43-44 a woman spent all her living on physicians and could not be healed. She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and she was healed immediately. Ps 118:8-9 tell us it is better to trust in the Lord than in man. By trusting in the Lord, He can direct you in His will and to the people, He will use to help you. Sometimes the Lord will direct you to a physician who can improve or restore your health by giving him or her wisdom to understand what’s wrong with you. Sometimes, He will strengthen you by His grace, instead. Sometimes, He will show you a way to nourish yourself or change your life that will straighten you out. And so forth. He’s the one who fed the Jews in the wilderness, and the one who fed the 5,000 and who miraculously fed the widow in Elijah’s day. He’s the one who took care of Ruth (a stranger). He’s the one who will save Israel. He’s the one who’ll take care of you.
Hope in the Lord – Ps 146:5-6a – The Lord is the only one who knows what He wants to accomplish in you in your present circumstances. John the Baptist was beheaded in prison, James was killed by Herod in prison, and yet Peter was miraculously released from prison. There’s not a man on earth that could have helped any of them or figured out what was best for them and God. Each one had to keep his hope in God. Jesus had to encourage John the Baptist not to be offended in Him. You cannot anticipate how your situation is going to turn out. But one thing for sure, you cannot lose your hope in God! The only way for each family to handle this and be happy (and not get bitter) is to hope in the Lord.
Look to the Words of God – Ps 146:6b – “The truth”. You must get into the Bible and read with a listening and believing heart. God will direct you in His Words (Ps 119:133) and show you what He wants you to know about what you are going through. The angel of the Lord showed up when Paul was about to be shipwrecked and gave him the wisdom to understand what was happening and how to spare every man’s life through the storm. The Word of God shows you the way through the trouble.
Stay right with God – Ps 146:8-9 – When people get into trouble, we tend to run to sin for solace, comfort or escape. You must stay in the right relationship with God. You must draw very close to Him. The Lord loveth the righteous. Don’t run to sin. The way of the wicked He turneth upside down. I have seen many people destroyed by turning away from the Lord at precisely the time they needed to turn to Him.
Let God rule – Ps 146:10 – The Lord is going to reign forever in Zion. He is supposed to be ruling in our hearts right now. Our bodies are His temple. Let God be God. Let him work out the circumstances in your life His way. Take your hands off the reigns and quit trying to dictate to God. He knows what He is doing. Let Him do it.
And remember to keep praising the Lord (Ps 146:10). You will get through the trouble, Amen!