“Offer unto God thanksgiving—and pay your vows unto the most High.  And, call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”

Psalm 50:14-15

We shouldn’t wait until this time to do so, but neither should we hesitate to do so when it comes.

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble.”

Someone once cautioned the saints of God of only having “foxhole faith,” i.e., treating Him as a “God in a jam” and forgetting all about Him when things are going good.  Likewise, we should also guard against never praying and just assuming He’ll always automatically “supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory” because He promised to do so (Phil. 4:19).

The Heavenly Father loves it when we “offer unto Him thanksgiving and pay our vows unto the most High.”  Truly, “in everything we should give thanks—for this is His will for us in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18).

Yet, there are times when everything begins falling apart.  It matters not if we’re regular in church, giving a tithe and offering, visiting the sick, helping the poor, etc.  We enter into one of those “soggy seasons of life” (Eccl. 3:1-8) where “our tears have been our food day and night” (Ps. 42:3).  Or, like Job, even though we’re “spiritually mature, upright, fear God and avoid evil” (Job 1:1), we still enter into a “dark night of the soul” and inwardly pine/sigh, “Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job. 5:7).

It’s during these difficult days of “fiery trials” that we must “call upon the Lord” and know “He will deliver us.”  And, in the process we must also “glorify Him” in both words and deeds as others watch our suffering and struggles—knowing “all things work together for good to them who love the Lord, who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

In his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Pastor Jim Cymbala says “When you feel like throwing up your hands, throw them up to God.”  He also quotes the great Scottish devotional writer, Andrew Bonar, who wrote in 1853:  “God likes to see His people shut up to this—that there is no hope but in prayer.  Herein lies the Church’s power against the world.”

Assuredly, it is “our faith that overcomes the world and gives us the victory” (I Jn. 5:4b).  Likewise, it is “by the Blood of the Lamb and our word of testimony that enables us to silence the voice of the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10-11a).

But, the power for this comes from “unceasing prayer” (I Thess. 5:17) as we “humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, submit ourselves to God by drawing near to Him and resist the devil in every way” (James 4:6-8).

None of us are immune to perplexity or finding ourselves at “Wit’s End Corner.”  But, even there we know what to do:  “Cry out to the Lord” (Ps. 107:28a) and know He’ll hear our cry and “bring us out of our distresses as He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Ps. 107:28b-29).  Amen and amen.  Thank You, Lord.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 5, 2010

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