The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him, and he asked his home office to hire a plane. Arrangements were made, and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot swung the plane into the wind, and they soon were in the air.
"Fly over the north side of the fire," yelled the photographer, "and make three or four low-level passes." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm going to take pictures," cried the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!"
After a pause, the pilot said, "You mean you're not the instructor?"
If I may interject, it sounds like somebody’s in trouble!
Have you ever felt like a situation had gotten so far beyond you and become so filled with adversity that you were overwhelmed as a result of trying to manage all of the trouble?
Paul opened his second letter to Corinth bluntly, “We think you ought to know... about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” (Ref. 2 Cor 1:8-9 NLT)
The truth of the matter when it comes to trouble, “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles in the backside, YOU wouldn't be able to sit down for two weeks.”
But here’s some excellent advice that I once read, never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three: 1) all they HAVE HAD; 2) all they HAVE NOW; and 3) all they EXPECT TO HAVE.
The good news is that God never intended for you to bear any of your trouble alone -- even if you caused it!
It is Ps 23’s author, David, that also gives us this promise, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Ref. Ps 46:1)
Realize what the Psalmist teaches us. God says, “You can find me in the trouble!” And, as we look again at Paul’s words, this truth is what he communicates, learning precisely, “We think you ought to know... about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.”
Hear Paul continue his testimony, “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.” (Ref. 2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT)
Grab hold of this truth and resounding promise: HE DID, and HE WILL, and HE WILL CONTINUE to rescue me!
So, may I ask, where have you placed your confidence?
Again, Paul teaches us, “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.” (Ref. 2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT)
But, if you are struggling with confidence, despite the promises of God, then celebrate this aspect of God’s empowering grace: prayer helps. “And you are helping us by praying for us.” (Ref. 2 Corinthians 1:11 NLT) Don’t ever hesitate to encourage someone to pray for you because if you get the right people praying, you can feel it when they kick into gear literally.
Imagine the ground we could gain, despite the enemy’s best attempts to distract us with trouble, if we would just pray for one another! I am glad Paul felt we should know about his trouble in Asia because what he learned helps us learn: place confidence in Jesus and rely on Him because He will continue to rescue us from the snares of our archnemesis!
In the meantime, pray for one another -- it helps!