October 5 - Two Ways to Respond to Trouble

By Louis Smith

Today's Scripture: Psalm 77:1-20

Central Thought: Our response to trouble is more important than our trouble.

    'Trouble troubles us all,” some wise person once said. Trouble evidently troubled the writer of this Psalm. He opened it with a cry to God for help (v. 1). In verse 2, he described himself as being 'in the day of trouble” (v. 2, ESV). He felt his strength ebbing away (v. 3) as he lay awake at night, too troubled to formulate a prayer (v. 4). How did he handle this difficult season in his life?

    For one thing, he dealt with his troubles honestly. This becomes apparent as he brought his questions before God during those sleepless nights (vv. 7-9). Be honest with God when you pray about your problems. He's not afraid of your questions. Don't be afraid to ask them.

    For another thing, he recalled the wonders God performed in Israel's past (vv. 10-12). This involved more than a trip down memory lane. The psalmist was recalling what God had done in the past, which would build his faith for the present need. Don't have a pity party when you find yourself in trouble. Instead, think back on the grand things God did in His Word to help people in trouble. As the song said, 'It is no secret what God can do; what He's done for others, He'll do for you.”

    Honest prayer and Scripture-based recollections—these simple tools got Asaph through a rough time in his life. You may be facing your own difficulties. Try these two proven methods of dealing with your problems. Like Asaph, you may find your troubled thoughts turning into a song.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, thank You for helping people with their troubles; thank You for helping me.

Today's Bible Reading: Jeremiah 4:19-6:14; Colossians 1:21-2:7; Psalm 77:1-20; Proverbs 24:23-25