Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. - Psalm 37:3
At times life seems rough, but life without God is impossible. When we talk about life we frequently use metaphors – a roll coaster, a ship, a game, a collection of hills and valleys. And as much as we admit that we love good days and loath the bad ones, we know that both are inevitable. So what do we do when the walls come crashing down? Do we try to hide? Do we try to run? Do we just stew in anger? Some of us handle pressure better than others. In times of overwhelming pressure, sometimes I’m tempted to just give up, to pack up and find somewhere “safe.” But the Bible seems to indicate that the safest place anyone can be is right in the middle of God’s will. Leaving His covering is always an invitation for disaster. So what should we do when difficult days descend upon us? To me, Psalm 37:3 has served as a reliable template.
Trust in the Lord. I know out of experience that when the walls come crashing in, my focus often shifts from the Lord and His plan, to the crashing walls and my “escape plan!” But trust is truly tested in adversity. Days of peace don’t produce 5-star generals. Albert Einstein used to say, “In the midst of difficulty lays opportunity.” Ours is a God that capitalizes on seemingly irreconcilable circumstances.
Do good. The next area I find challenged in times of difficulty is continuing to do good. I tend to get selfish, self-centered and self-consummed. Continuing to do good is vital for breakthrough. Serving helps bring true perspective.
Dwell in the land. Don’t run!!! If this is your first instinct, don’t leave the place of God’s covering. No one can effectively run away from problems, anyway. They only follow you, and by the time they catch back up with you, things usually get much worse.
Enjoy safe pasture. Focus on the positive things around you. Sometimes it takes some serious effort, but when all we focus on are problems and what isn’t right we fail to see what is. Recall times of God’s faithfulness and mercy in days past, and know that He will come through once again. You don’t have to like where you are, but you can learn to love it.
Question of the Day:
How do I respond when difficult days descend?