If it ain't one thing, it's another.
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.
Trouble, a condition of distress, annoyance, or difficulty, a condition of mechanical malfunction, a condition of physical distress or ill health, a condition of doing something badly or only with great difficulty, a condition of being mentally or spiritually agitated.
If you have not recently experienced nor currently experiencing trouble, look out, you soon will be. It seems as if we face some sort of trouble at every turn. Health, relationships, financial, emotional, spiritual, virtually everything we get ourselves into, we’ll find difficulties. Our responses to trouble can vary as greatly just as the kinds of trouble we find ourselves in. Grief, mourning, anguish, and suffering may be the worst experiences we as humans face in a world of trouble. Trouble is a human condition; trouble is always temporary for the believer. Why do we constantly have issues? You have often heard it said, “if it’s not one thing it’s another”.
Trouble can be an attack by Satan. In Job chapter 1, Satan is in God’s presence, speaking with Him when God brings up the subject of Job. God is bragging on Job on how he is perfect, complete, one who lacks nothing in physical strength and beauty, he is sound, wholesome, an ordinary quiet sort of person, he is complete, morally innocent, one having integrity, one who is morally and ethically pure. Job is one who is blessed and who is being a blessing. A man who reveres God and turns from evil. In 31 verse 1 Job states that he had made a covenant with his eyes that he wouldn’t allow his eyes to linger longer on a woman. Notice though that Satan is asking God to remove His protection from Job and God does, but why? Why does God allow trouble into our lives?
In the case of Job, it was to test the strength of his dedication and faith in a sovereign God. Job had been blessed with wealth, family, position, and many other things that the world sees a “having it made”. We too, look at material possessions and earthly comforts that can come before God. What is it that you measure success by? Your car? Your house? How about the neighborhood you live in? I once had a brand-new car, a brand-new truck and a freshly remodeled home. God took all these away from me so that I might draw closer to Him. I have always wanted a real nice bass boat. I believe that if God would have allowed me to have one, I would’ve been a’fishin’ instead of a’servin’. My priority wouldn’t have been God. Therefore, trouble will arrive to test our faith and to cause us to get our priorities right and draw closer to Him.
In the case of Paul, trouble came to keep him humble. God used Paul to perform many signs and wonders. He was given revelations and Godly insight. He spoke directly with Jesus. Paul’s teachings are where we derive a great deal of our Christian doctrine. Paul even got a glimpse of heaven. Paul had every reason to brag about how God was using him, yet he called himself the chief of sinners. But still, God had to send him a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. Have you ever met anyone that brags about how humble they are? Not very humble is it, so God will use trouble to rein in the braggadocios.
Trouble can be correction from God. Let’s blame Adam for this one and then ourselves. Adam was created in a perfect, trouble free environment yet Adam brought trouble to himself by disobeying God. Therefore, trouble can be associated with sin. Adam was accountable to God for his obedience to get just one thing right and when he had failed, God could’ve killed him and start over, but God chose another path. He chose to correct Adam by punishing him, not because God hated Adam but, because He loved him and wanted him to live in obedience. We too can get so comfortable in our worldly environments that little by little we become more and more like the world. We knowingly, willfully sin because that’s what we want to do more so than pleasing God and obeying His will in our lives not just outwardly but inward as well. Jesus made this clear when HE clarified that adultery was more than a physical act, that if you’ve lusted in your mind, you have already sinned. If God allowed us to be habitual, repeat offenders we would eventually come to ruin. So, God in His great love for us will give us a good spanking now and then. Trouble can be correction from God because He loves us.
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Correction is not about the punishment, it’s about the restoration of fellowship with God.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
Finally, trouble may be sent to cause us to yearn for heaven. When I look at society today certain adjectives come to mind; sick, filthy, corrupt, morally bankrupt. I was thinking godless but that would be inaccurate, this world and this world system is actively serving the god of this world.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Consider the words to this old gospel song;
This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through, My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue; The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
0 Lord, You know I have no friend like You, If heaven’s not my home, then, Lord, what will I do? The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
This is especially true for those whose trouble has come with the loss of someone very close. A spouse, a son, a daughter. Nothing brings more grief and nothing brings a greater longing for heaven.
If you’re facing trouble today, find a way to use it to glorify God. If you’ve had a life of trouble and God has delivered you, find a way to use it to glorify God. Share you burdens, share your victories in deliverance.
Jesus said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. John 16:33 NIV