November 19: “Strength in Trials”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezekiel 39:1–40:27
James 2:18–3:18
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 28:2

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Psalm 118:5-9 (NLT): “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Psalm 118:5-9 is included in the larger context of Psalms 113-118. These Psalms were called “Praise” (in the Hebrew language, “Hallel”).

According to Jewish tradition, Psalm 113-118 were sung at some of the major Jewish annual celebrations, including the Passover. In fact, it appears that Psalms 113-114 were chanted before the feast of Passover, and Psalms 115-118 were chanted after drinking the last cup of the celebration.

So, it is quite possible that Jesus led His disciples in singing the words of Psalm 118:5-9 as he was in the Upper Room the night He was betrayed and the day before He was crucified.

That helps to understand how the words of Psalm 118:5-9 are to be understood. Ordinarily, we might read those words and feel immune to trouble as we find our rest in God. After all, it says: “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Yet, we see from Jesus’ example, and the stories of Jesus’ apostles that resting in God’s care does not make us immune to trouble. Instead, it gives us the opportunity to have the courage and strength to go through the trouble. Why? Because we know that what is happening to us can only get to us after going through God’s hands first.

When we read the first two chapters of the book of Job, we see this principle illustrated so clearly. Job was a man who was righteous and followed the ways of the Lord. Yet, his life fell apart overnight. When we read the first two chapters, we come to clearly see what Job did not know. We observe that his troubles had to pass through God’s hands first before they got to him.

So when we rest in the Lord and determine not to be afraid of others or circumstances, we need to realize that troubles will still come our way. But we can have the courage and strength to go through them because we know that our loving Father had to approve of them before they got to us. Further, He will only send our way the things that He intends to make us more like our Savior, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

We’re going to have troubles in this world, friend. But, take heart. If you are a child of God, those trials have a good purpose. You have more than sufficient reason to go through them victoriously with your Father.

Psalm 118:5-9 (NLT): “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, no one likes to experience the trials of life. I certainly don’t. Yet, I realize that I don’t have to be afraid when life gets difficult or even overwhelming. You are walking through those trials with me. Further, I can realize that each thing that happens to me had to receive Your approval first. 


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

2 thoughts on “November 19: “Strength in Trials”

  1. Good afternoon Pastor Ellis. These lessons are a great educational tool for me. I look forward to receiving them each day and thank you very much for sending them.

    For some reason I haven’t received anything since November 19. I would like to continue receiving them if possible. Again, thank you and have a Blessed day!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charles, thanks so much for your feedback. I am presently working on an article for tomorrow. Unfortunately, life and ministry has become so busy recently that I simply didn’t have time to write the articles the last few days. I will try to be more diligent in order to finish this year out without missing another day. I apologize for the inconvenience but thank you for your encouraging feedback.

      Like

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