I remember growing up in church watching people equate hardships to being out of God’s will. There was a family that joined our church’s ministry staff, and they seemed to run into problem after problem. Their car broke down, their house had issues and so on. I remember standing in their living room hearing the father say, “We must have missed God. He’s trying to tell us this isn’t where we’re supposed to be. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having so many issues.” I was shocked. I thought they were a perfect fit for what we needed. They used Jonah as an example of why things were going badly. I could have bought it if they had gone the opposite of where they felt God calling them. I tried to explain that hardships and problems don’t mean you’re not in God’s will.
David was a person whom God had anointed to be king. He was in God’s will as he waited to ascend to the throne. He didn’t try to kill Saul and take it before God gave it to him. Yet, somehow, he was on the run for years. He fled Israel to get away. He had to pretend to be insane so the Philistine king wouldn’t kill him. He then ended up in the cave of Adullum. It was a dark time in his life. 1 Samuel 22:2 says, “Everyone who was suffering hardship, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. There were about four hundred men with him” (AMP). Instead of being sent angels or people to comfort him, God sent people who were going through the same thing. That’s not what he pictured when he thought of being king, but that’s what God had in mind to prepare him for the throne.
In that cave, David wrote Psalm 34. Verse 19 is one of my favorites in this chapter. It says, “Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous, But the Lord rescues him from them all.” You and I are not promised sunshine and rainbows in God’s will. We’re going to face difficulties. We’re going to be in some dark caves so to speak. God doesn’t promise us a life without hardship and pain. Instead, He promises to rescue us from the cave and those problems. Also, the answer may not look like what you think it should. God knows where we are, what we’re facing and what we need. Cry out to Him, listen for His voice and follow where He leads. His will isn’t a place of perfect peace. It’s a place where we have peace no matter what we’re facing.
One evening, some friends and I rented a sailboat and captain to sail us up and down the Nile River in Cairo for an hour. After we went down stream for a while, he turned the boat around and started going back to our point of origin. To do that, he had to sail from one side to the other to go upstream. On one of those trips to the far side, he didn’t turn the boat in time and we got caught in some reeds. We yelled out for help to all the boats going by, but no one could hear us. Almost an hour went by before someone stopped. They went across the Nile, got a boat with a motor on it to come pull us out and rescue us.
One thing I’m constantly reminded of is that God is on a rescue mission. We are in need of rescuing, but we don’t always cry out for help. We try to do it ourselves or worse, we don’t acknowledge the situation we’re in. God is waiting to rescue our soul, our lives, our families and ourselves, but it takes us recognizing we can’t do it and that we need Him. He is a rescuer by nature and wants to rescue each of us. If you’re in a situation that needs rescuing, call to Him today and see how He comes to rescue you.
Here are some Bible verses on God rescuing us.
1. Then [in light of the fact that all this is true, be sure that] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and how to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
2 PETER 2:9 AMP
2. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!
John 3:17 TPT
3. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:13 NLT
4. Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening, ready to rescue you.
Psalm 34:17 MSG
5. But my Sovereign Lord, help me as you have promised, and rescue me because of the goodness of your love.
One evening in Cairo, some friends and I rented a sailboat on the Nile river. Our driver sailed for a while down river with the flow. Then when it was time to head back, he sailed side to side to go back upstream. As he got to the far side of the Nile, he lost control and sailed us deep into some reeds. We couldn’t get out and had no phone or radio communication to come rescue us. We yelled for help, but none of the other boats were coming close enough.
As it began to get dark, our hopes of being rescued were going down. We were getting hoarse from yelling and we were getting bit by mosquitoes. We climbed on top of the overhead canopy where there was enough wind to keep most of the mosquitoes away. Finally a boat with a motor on it saw us. They found out we needed to be pulled out, left to get rope, returned, and rescued us. Each of us had no voice and were covered in mosquito bites, but we were safe.
Being in need of rescue is not a fun place to be. It’s hard to find hope when you’re helpless. I’m thankful that God doesn’t leave us hopeless or helpless in the times of our greatest need. He hears us when we call out to Him. He sees us in our struggle. He rescues us when there is no hope. He is our very present help in time of need. If you’re in need of being rescued in any fashion, call out to Him today. He will meet you in that place and do what only He can do.
Here are some verses on being rescued.
1. He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
Psalms 18:16-17 NLT
2. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.
2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
3. Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening, ready to rescue you.
Psalm 34:17 MSG
4. And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment,
2 Peter 2:9 GNT
5. Do not say, I will repay evil; wait [expectantly] for the Lord, and He will rescue you.
Proverbs 20:22 AMPC
A couple of years ago I joined a concierge service at the airport. With my card, I could bypass all the lines, go past the TSA person checking tickets and ID’s, and go straight to the X-Ray machines. It was great. I no longer had issues at the airport. I didn’t have to worry about getting there two hours early or worry about all the TSA drama. It was worry free traveling. It was a lot like many people think life will be like when they become a Christian.
They think that becoming a Christian means you have no more troubles, problems, or issues. You can coast through life bypassing all of its issues. If you have a need, simply pray and ask God for it. If you do have problems or unanswered prayers, you must have hidden sin or be out of God’s will. Their perception of Christianity is all wrong. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from any of life’s problems. It gives you someone to cast those troubles on.
Every Christian can attest that their troubles didn’t stop the day they became a Christian. They didn’t become a perfect person, nor did their life become perfect. In many cases, their troubles increased. When troubles over take my life, I like to remember Psalm 34:19. It says, “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time” (NLT). No matter how many troubles I face or how hard my life gets, I can count on God to come to my rescue.
That doesn’t mean the troubles go away or the devastation they cause in my life disappears. It means that God doesn’t abandon me in those times. He comes to give me strength to endure them. God knows that troubles produce growth, strength, and endurance, so why would he keep us from things that produce positive traits? Christians will have troubles, but they don’t have to be afraid of them because God comes to their rescue and uses them to work out His good in their lives.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
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