Whenever we face trouble, God doesn’t want us to pretend everything is all right. Rather, He invites us to honestly bring the trouble to Him and to make Him our refuge.
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)
Rather like buses, troubles seem to have a way of coming all at once. You know how it is: Having just missed one bus, you wait for the next which (the timetable says) should be along in ten minutes. Ten minutes go by; then fifteen; twenty; twenty-five; thirty. Then, all of a sudden, three buses come racing down the road one behind the other. And trouble can be a bit like that, can’t it? Life has been going swimmingly, when – suddenly – a whole batch of troubles seems to come all at once: someone in the family gets sick; there are problems at work; the children are struggling at school; the car breaks down; an unexpected bill arrives. At times like that, we really need to know who to turn to!
The prophet Nahum lived in a time of real trouble. The brutal Assyrian empire had been ruthlessly expanding its territory. Samaria, to Judah’s immediate north, had already fallen to its tyrannical grip some years back; and now Judah itself looked like it was about to go the same way. But in the midst of all this trouble, Nahum declares in faith that Assyria was about to experience God’s judgment for all its cruelty (and indeed this happened shortly afterwards when Babylon overthrew it). And in the meantime, declared Nahum (whose very name means "the LORD comforts"), God assures His people of His comfort in the midst of trouble. God is still good, Nahum said; He still cares, and we can still find a refuge in Him.
Whenever we are facing trouble, God doesn’t want us to pretend everything is all right; and nor does He want us to run around as headless chickens panicking and looking for a solution. Rather, He invites us to honestly bring the trouble to Him and to make Him our refuge. Maybe you are feeling, "Here comes trouble!" Perhaps so; but here comes the Lord, too!
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont