“The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.” 2 Peter 2:9
I recall counseling a woman who had just come to know Christ. She was interested in becoming God’s kind of woman, so we were studying passages of Scripture that had to do with what a biblical wife is like and talking about the whole matter of gracious cooperation with her husband’s leadership. She came to me one day and said, “Pastor, I’ve got a major problem. I have been saving up my money for a dining room set. I love the one my mother-in-law has, and I’m looking for something just like it. After I’ve gone through the used furniture ads in the paper, my husband and I drive around and look at them. But he doesn’t seem to be real interested. He’s so insensitive. We’ve been to a couple of places where I really liked the furniture, but he just says, ‘No, I don’t like those. And besides, it’s my money.’ He couldn’t care less what kind of furniture we have in the house. He doesn’t know if we have French Provincial or Early Salvation Army! He’s basically interested in his newspaper, easy chair, and the TV.”
A couple of weeks later she came back and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but my mother-in-law called me and said that she had bought a brand-new dining room set and wanted to know if I wanted hers.”
God does not always work like that. But it’s clear that when we submit to doing things His way and wait on His timing, we’ll get a chance to see how He works. And while shopping for furniture with an uncooperative spouse doesn’t exactly qualify as a trial, the principle of waiting for God to work in our difficulty remains an important part of dealing with difficulty.
King David understood this. He knew that he was to be the next king of Israel. Rather than staging a dramatic takeover, he faithfully served in the army and played his harp in the palace to soothe King Saul’s stress. Things were going great until Saul developed an insane jealousy that drove him to try to kill David. When David was being hunted by Saul, he found himself in a cold cave crying out to God, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2 NASB).
Like David, when we feel that God has forgotten us we are prone to plan our own escape. We say, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll—no, that won’t work. Here’s what I’ll do—no, I don’t think that will work either.” It’s the total despair of seeming to be locked in with no apparent way out.
Take courage. God already knows how He is going to deliver you. In fact, He is in the business of making ways of escape! Peter assures us, “the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials” (2 Peter 2:9). So you can count on it: When you are faithful and patient through trouble, God will, in His time, exercise options of deliverance that are far beyond what you ever dreamed!
- When was the last time you were in a tight spot with no righteous options at your disposal? What was your response: To take matters into your own hands and cheat God’s will for your life? To sink into despair and self-pity? To shake your fist at God and believe that he has abandoned you? Or, to patiently wait for Him to finish the work and in His time rescue you?
- What promises could you claim to help you to patiently wait?
- Read Psalm 13:1-6. How did David resolve his despair?