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Provision in Times of Trouble
by Mark Nickles
2/18/2020 / Bible Studies
One of God’s most vital characteristics is His faithfulness. If God says He will do something, it is as good as done. This trait becomes emphasized during times of trouble; it’s a blessing to know that we can count on His provision of our needs, especially during life’s most challenging times. We find a testimony to this from King David, in Psalm 18:26-36.
Verse 28 states that God “turns my darkness into light.” This has a few applications. While containing an over-arching implication of God’s comfort, it also alludes to the provision of light during emotional and spiritual darkness, relief from afflictions, as well as preservation, restoration, safety, glory and confidence. In ancient times, the concept of light held all of these applications. But the primary idea is that God gave David great comfort.
In verse 29, David stated that, with God’s help, he could “advance against a troop”, and “scale a wall.” It is well-known to those who read his story that David overcame great odds during the time in which he was being hunted by King Saul. Despite the attempts to kill him, David escaped the king’s efforts, thus overcoming a great obstacle. God gave David victory.
Verse 30 is a testimony to the trustworthiness of God’s word. David stated that God’s way is “perfect”, that His word is “flawless”, and that “He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” This is an indication that there is no greater moral authority than God’s word, and that we need nothing else on which to base our lives. In this way, God provided David with stability.
Another of our greatest needs in the difficult times of life is strength. To endure stressful times, successfully weather strife and come out on the other side better for it, we need strength. Thankfully, verse 32 addresses that very need, as the psalmist says that God “equipped” him “with strength”. The original language also includes the idea of surrounding the individual with a force. This is not to say that God insulates us from all trouble; there would be no need to write this, if that were the case. Rather, it is assurance that, even in the midst of difficulty, God not only gives us strength we wouldn’t have without him, but he even infuses the situation with his own power and presence, so that we can have confidence that he is working in it. When life goes dark, for a time, the knowledge that God “has our back” in such a way is HUGE.
Sometimes, life is such that it seems the most valuable thing we can have is safety. Verse 33 tells us, “He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.” In ancient times, being quick was a desirable quality for a warrior. Whether pursuing, engaging an enemy, dodging an attack, or even retreating from a more powerful warrior, being swift of foot could save a person’s life. This analogy serves to illustrate the ability God often gives us to navigate difficult, or even dangerous times. At times we advance on, or attack a problem, engage a challenging circumstance, dodge a hurdle in a relationship, or even retreat from a temptation that is beyond our ability to bear (See 1 Corinthians 10:13). And then sometimes, God, himself places us “out of reach” of situations which may be too powerful for us; he “sets us secure on the heights”, if you will.
Consider these questions: Could you use some comfort in your life, right now? How about victory over some difficulty or challenge? Are you presently in need of stability, as it seems that your life is coming apart? Here’s good news for you: God not only CAN provide all of those things, but it is His earnest desire to do so! God “has the back” of the person who has trusted him with everything. Do you have that assurance? You can, by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.
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