Sunday, 13 September 2020
Title: A Rainbow in the Cloud
By: Sidlow Baxter (adapted from his devotional ‘Awake My Heart’)
Psalm 91:15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
What “balm of Gilead” is Psalm 91! Such comforting assurance is given from God in heaven to godly souls on earth! As to its human authorship, it was written by Moses, the man of the Law; yet from beginning to end it breathes the unmerited grace and favour of God. We may say that the psalm as a whole is the gracious response of God to the human heart which truly loves and trusts Him.
At the moment, however, it is that middle sentence of verse 15 which holds our attention: “I will be with him in trouble.” It comes with something of surprise, for up to that point there is not a hint that trouble could ever swoop down upon the godly man envisaged in this psalm. He seems to live a charmed life.
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
Angels are given special charge over him. No plague comes near his dwelling. Even if there are lions and serpents, he tramples them underfoot. Glance through the verses again, and it appears that Providence has all smiles and no frowns for him. So it seems until we reach verse 15 and we are gently jolted from our easy misunderstanding. God loves us too well and too wisely to leave us continually enchanted amid flowery beds of ease.
Yes, mark it well: trouble has a permitted place. All of us find it so as we pilgrimage to our heavenly destination. Often indeed does beaming-faced Joy meet us with hands full of fresh fruits and lovely flowers. But from time to time, also, stern-eyed Duty accosts us, with hard challenges. Sometimes, too, black-draped Sorrow says, “Walk a mile with me,” and we can only drag on with heavy feet.
Yet trouble not only has a permitted place; it has a precious ministry (think well over this); and, further, it often gives our Lord His timely opportunity to prove His sympathetic and protective presence with us.
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
It was when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were flung into the intensified furnace that they suddenly made their most thrilling discovery of the divine companionship. It is when the seas “roar” and the mountains “shake with the swelling thereof “, that our heavenly Keeper shows Himself “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46). It is “the fourth watch of the night”, as the storm lashes most fiercely, that He tramples the billows and scatters the night, and comes to us with His
“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14: 27)
How many married couples, happy in each other’s love, will tell us that although they were truly one in heart on their wedding day, they never knew how deeply they loved, nor how much they meant to each other, until they had to go through trouble together! And how many of God’s children, whose hearts have found the secret of true respose in the Saviour’s love, will tell us with radiant gratitude that it was when they were in trouble that they made their richest discovery of all that Christ can be to a human heart! Dear brothers and sisters, let it be your endeavour neither to cause trouble nor to fear it. Remember, Jesus says, “I will be with him in trouble.”
Prayer for Today
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the assurance of your presence, that You will be with me when trouble befalls me. Help me to never take good times for granted.
Give me contentment, whatever my circumstances. Help me abide in You daily, Lord Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.