In times of trouble, do you turn to God?

Paul Christianson

Dear reader, some simple yet profound questions to begin this essay:

When troubles come, do you begin with your fears, or do you begin with God? Where is your point-of-beginning? In other words, is your approach man-centered or God-centered?

If the former, that is just more evidence of our frailty and fallenness. If we do not begin with God, we will only experience further disconsolation and lack of assurance.

The world is full of dangerous threats to our health, finances and even to our country. But faith’s answer surely is not continuing in fear. Faith says to our hearts and minds, “trust God,” and take no guidance from our fears!

The author of the book of Hebrews puts it this way: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Unfortunately, too many professing Christians and their pastors “shrink back” (Hebrews 10:38, 39) in the day of adversity.

Why? Because they lack faith and courage. They really do not believe God’s word, the Bible. They prefer humanistic fabrications to alleviate their dreads, instead of trusting God for his comforts and counsels.

Dear reader, do you have “faith?” If so, then you will have assurance, hope, and “the conviction of things not seen.” And for those who are still anxious, may I make a pastoral suggestion? Take some time this week and meditate upon the following from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8:35-39:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

But for those of you who insist on a life of unbelief — you do have something tangible to fear, Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Christianson serves as pastor at Grace Reformed Church in Clarkston.

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