Troubles, Troubles, Troubles!
James Smith, 1842
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble! I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Psalm 50:15
Believer, in this portion of the divine word, you will discover:
1. your present portion — trouble,
2. your constant privilege — prayer,
3. your future prospect — deliverance.
1. Your present portion is TROUBLE. You must expect trouble, and will certainly be deceived if you expect to escape it. Sin is the parent of trouble — and our sin-cursed earth its fruitful soil. Trouble springs up all around us, and appears in an almost infinite variety of forms.
Every connection we form,
every character we bear,
every office we fill, and
every relation we sustain —
is a fruitful source of trouble!
We shall have . . .
trouble in mind,
trouble in circumstances,
trouble in body;
trouble from almost every quarter!
This poor world is not our rest — for it is polluted!
This poor world is not our home — for we are poor pilgrims!
This poor world is not our country — for we are strangers and aliens!
Every day has its peculiar troubles. Often when we look for a certain comfort — we only find peculiar distress and vexation! Everything declares, "Happiness is not in me!" You may look on the right hand — but you will find no permanent peace; on the left — and disappointment awaits you. Only in Jesus is . . .
holy satisfaction, and
permanent comfort to be found.
If we could rightly interpret the various voices around us, we would find them all saying, "Go to Jesus! Abide in Jesus! Derive all from Jesus — or be wretched, miserable, and disappointed!"
In youth, manhood, and old age — trouble and tribulation is the Christian's lot. Our God feeds us with the heritage of Jacob our father; but if we carefully read his history, we shall find some very bitter herbs grew on it:
Joseph is lost,
Simeon is imprisoned,
Benjamin must go,
Simeon and Levi slay the Shechemites —
and all these things appear against him!
Just so with us, troubles and trials follow each other, at times, almost like Job's messengers, treading on each other's heels, and we are almost overwhelmed! But,
2. Your constant privilege is PRAYER — to visit the throne of grace, and wait upon our God. He says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble!" Troubles . . .
furnish us with messages to our Father's throne,
quicken us in our supplications, and
oblige us to entreat His favor!
His throne of grace is always accessible, and His ear is always open; but in times of trouble, He especially invites us to draw near. He says:
Call upon Me in trouble, call for whatever you need!
Are you perplexed — then call for wisdom;
are you weak — then call for strength;
are you guilty — then call for pardon;
are you miserable — then call for comfort;
are you in darkness — then call for light;
are you in bondage — then call for freedom and relief.
Call upon Me, for I am always on the throne of grace!
Call upon Me, for I am glad to see you!
Call upon Me, for I am ready to help you!
Call upon Me, for I wait to be gracious unto you!
Call upon Me — upon Me first, before you run to others!
Call upon Me — and you will have no occasion to go anywhere else, for I have all that you possibly can need.
Call upon Me freely — without reserve.
Call upon Me boldly — without fear.
Call upon Me importunately — without doubt!
The promise encourages us,
the invitation allures us — but
trouble impels us to call upon our God!
Our troubles are frequently the instruments the Holy Spirit employs to carry on His sacred work in our hearts. By troubles, He . . .
empties us of self,
weans us from the world, and
endears Jesus and His salvation to us!
Oh, believer, make use of your privilege in every time of trouble — and fully expect what Your God has promised!
3. Your future prospect is DELIVERANCE. The prospect is opened up, "I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Here God comes under engagement to deliver His calling child. Can we, then, be too confident, or expect deliverance with too much assurance? Surely not! Only let us beware lest we dictate to God as to time, means, or manner of deliverance — and then we cannot be too certain. He will deliver, and in such a way as to . . .
put honor on your faith,
pour confusion on your unbelief, and
secure the glory to His blessed self!
God's delivering mercies are all brought forth on jubilee days — for the deliverances which He affords, proclaim a jubilee in the soul.
"I WILL!" — this promise is . . .
more durable than earth,
more stable as the pillars of Heaven,
and as changeless as the nature of Jehovah.
"I will DELIVER!" — this is at once . . .
the food, warrant, and plea of faith;
the lattice through which hope directs the eye, and
the prime argument which the soul uses before God.
"I will deliver YOU!" This is the laying of God's hand on His needy child.
My poor brother — are you in trouble? Are you calling upon God? The Lord says, "I will deliver YOU!" You are the person God had in His eye and in His heart — when he caused this precious portion to be penned. Take up the language, and say, "He will deliver ME!" And you, being delivered, proving God to be faithful, realizing the power of prayer, and enjoying delivering mercy — shall, though Satan will try to hinder, and unbelief would gladly shut your mouth — you shall glorify Me!
How truly blessed, how pleasant, how satisfactory is this! Every believer must say: "It is just as I would have it! I get all the mercy — and God gets all the glory!"
Brethren in Jesus . . .
expect your portion — troubles,
prize your privilege — prayer, and
look forward to your prospect — deliverance!