When Tribulation Paints the Opposite Picture

“7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. 8 Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 9 I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. 10 For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.”

Psalm 144: 7-10(NLT)

When tribulation paints the opposite picture of what you thought your life would be, very often this is when you need a rescue. There’s hardly anything more disappointing than dreaming about the happiness you’re going to have, getting close to achieving it, and having it turn out to be a devastating set of circumstances. Jesus Christ has not kept the troubles and tribulations of the world a secret. In John 16:33(NLT), Jesus taught the disciples, “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.” This is still true today. It might be said that people can be more manipulative and corrupt, and the world is more confusing and chaotic than it was when our powerful Savior walked the earth. We must remember that he overcame the world and all its problems, and he made it possible for you and me to do the same.

The disciples were no different than most of us. They wanted a good life for themselves and for their families. They had responsibilities and jobs, and some of them had lots of people to support. When Jesus Christ entered their lives, something within each of them clicked, because it was always their destiny to become his followers. Even before they entered their mother’s wombs, God had anointed them to carry forth the work that Christ began. Their lives were not easy before they met Christ, and their lives were not easy once our Lord and Savior returned to the throne of God. We might ask, “what kept them from throwing in the towel?” The answer to this question is the same for every believer. The love of God that was in Christ, this is what kept them pressing forward.

God’s love is the greatest power in the all of time and eternity. God’s love for you is what paints a picture of brilliance for your life, but sometimes we are in too big of a rush, and we don’t wait to see the Master’s vision. We look for the fantasy in a relationship, a person, a job, a thing, a place or endeavor. We invest our emotions and energy in things that require the least amount of faith and discipline. This is what leads to disappointment. God’s love is the glue that holds our lives together, and this love requires commitment to Him. The reality is that we are our Heavenly Father’s dream. He has dreamed the highest possible dream for each of us, and it is contained within the person of Jesus Christ. Roman 8:29(NLT) declares, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Our identity is in Christ. Becoming like him and following his example is God’s goal for every person. Sometimes, we forget the victory Christ has won for us and instead of seeking God through his example, we try to paint a portrait of ourselves that doesn’t resemble the life of our Big Brother. We allow relationships, people, and other things to become the center of our existence, and this is the perfect setup for trouble and tribulation. We forget that we should be like clay in the Father’s hands so we can allow Him to mold us according to His Will.We can’t make it without the guidance and direction our Heavenly Father provides. Jesus Christ said in John 15:5(NLT), “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” Trying to make things work on our own and putting other people and things before our relationship with God will always land us in hot water. But God doesn’t abandon us.  Experiencing trouble and tribulation should press us to draw closer to God because He is our rescue. Psalm 144:7-10 affirms that just as He rescued His servant, King David, He will also rescue us in our times of need. 

God gives us His amazing grace. We can’t earn it, and we don’t deserve it. He gives His grace because that is who He is. He told the Apostle Paul in 2Corinthians 12:9(NLT), “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Heavenly Father wants us to know that the power of Christ can work through us and help us to do and be infinitely more than we ever imagined, but it’s our choice. Through Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father has given us an open door, and all we need to do is walk through it by learning about Christ and following the example he set for us.

When tribulation paints the opposite picture of what we thought life was about, it isn’t life that needs to change. We need to change. Romans 12:2 tells us to let God transform us into a new person by making a commitment to Him to change the way we think. We must read and study His Word so that we know His Will for our lives and have confidence in it. Life does have pressures that are sometimes very challenging, but Philippians 4:13 declares that we can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives us strength. God is our rescue! We must surrender ourselves to the Lord and have faith that He will help us paint the portrait of the victorious and confident person He created us to be. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

When Tribulation Paints the Opposite Picture”,written for overcomingdomesticviolence.org©2023. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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