Reflections: When the Going Gets Tough

Yesterday’s sermon was pretty spot-on.  When I look over the list of prayer requests, it is amazing how many people are going through such tough times and in so many diverse ways.  Yet, aren’t all trials essentially the same?  In the end, they are still trials, and they still test us.  What is different is the choices we make.  Our choices can either make the situation worse or better.

That was rather thought-provoking for me.  Sure, we are individuals, and thus we have different categories of trials.  However, in the end, don’t they serve the same purposes?

The bottom line is that we need to learn to do what is right, even when the circumstances are not in our favor.

When you think of trials, who do you think of?  Perhaps you are like me, and I suspect most people, and you think of Job.  However, there is another OT character that suffered much and had much written about him.  Some of the trials he experienced were consequences of his previous decisions (in words of yesterday’s sermon, his choices made his situation worse).  Yet, many of his trials, and especially his earlier ones, were afflicting a righteous young man.  He wasn’t perfect, but the record does bear out that he stuck to his principles in spite of adversity.

I’m speaking of King David.  Many of the Psalms were written by him during times of great stress.  You can feel his woe and his anguish leap off of the pages in some of them!

David was chased by Saul for a long period of time.  The actual amount of time isn’t recorded, but there are estimates of 8 years to 20 years, depending upon how young he was when he was anointed as king.

How would you like to know you are already king in God’s sight while the present king is still alive looking to kill you?  For 8 years?  For 10 years?  For perhaps 20 years?

As is often stated in the Psalms as rendered by the Amplified Bible, “Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

Yet, David refused to kill Saul, as he was God’s anointed before David.  He dared not kill him, nor did he rail against him (although, he did confront him on at least 2 occasions).  David even felt guilty when he gave in just a little and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe!

No, David did not harbor thoughts of harm.  David did not even slander or accuse behind Saul’s back.  He did not gossip.

We know who accuses.  We know who gossips before the throne of God.

You know, one thing I learned very early on is that it is counterproductive to panic early on.  When the waves are pounding against the hull during the storms of life, it can be downright harmful to not focus and clear your mind.  Don’t mistake calmness for lack of passion.  It is simply the seasoned response to the trials of life.

Panic can cause harm if we allow it.  It can lead to making a hurried decision (choice, if you prefer).  It can lead to the wrong decision.  It can even lead to sin, if we allow it.

We don’t know when he wrote it, but I believe he wrote it early on.  I’d bet it carried David through all his trials.  I believe he must have thought about it when he faced Goliath, was running from Saul, was on the run from Absalom, and perhaps many other times.  He is the same person, nonetheless.

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23:1-2, King James Version)


  1. This is why when one member suffers, all the members suffer (or should) with it — to borrow from I Cor. 12:26.