Learning in Troubled Waters

Psalm 34:1-19

God promises that when we face challenging times, He will keep His divine eye upon us. He wants to be our teacher and guide through the difficulty, but we must position ourselves to respond to His signals. That is, we need to:

Have a longing to follow God’s way and His way only. Scripture compares such yearning to a deer panting for water (Psalm 42:1). The same should be true of us each time we wait for God’s direction instead of acting on our own.

Be willing to be taught by God. He will transform trials into times of learning when we look to Him for guidance. Such was the case with Hannah as she pleaded for a child (1 Samuel 1:1-20, 1 Samuel 2:1-10). It was also true for Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died (John 11:17-27). We need willing spirits if we are to learn what God wants to teach us in the “classroom” of His choice. Most of us would opt for a comfortable, pleasurable setting in which to gain understanding. But God knows the best way to instill wisdom and may choose pain and trouble as the place of instruction.

Yield to His will. Before we know God’s solution, He asks us to commit ourselves to His way. The Lord calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to acknowledge that we are helpless without Him (John 15:5). To declare commitment to His way is always best.

Troubles are an unwelcome fact of life, but they can have value. Often what we wanted to avoid turns out to be the very thing we needed. God asks that we have a tender heart, a teachable spirit, and a yielded will. Does this describe you?

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