Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Life is like a roller-coaster with plenty of ups and downs—good times and tough times. It goes without saying that you and I are having these kind of experiences. I don’t know how you ignore them—they just happen. We all have to face struggles on this planet earth.
It can be a cliché—Life has its ups and downs—but when it hits you, it’s more than just a popular saying. Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” And occasionally, all we want to do is stay in bed and pull the covers over our face and stay there. We feel lousy—you must keep moving and pushing forward, even when you’re facing a particularly difficult situation. You’ve also got to recognise and appreciate the good moments when you have them.
People try to be helpful, One step at a time. One day at a time. Good advice. I remember seeing a story of a girl who received a bracelet in the mail from her boyfriend. But it was no ordinary bracelet—it was beaded. On one end was a black bead and on the other end a white bead. The attached note mentioned that the white bead carried water from Everest, the highest point in the world, while the black bead carried mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
I thought, What a good illustration. Sometimes you’re on top of the world, and another day you hit a new low.
We Need to Admit to Our Down Times
It’s not very helpful to deny the down times. And very often when someone cares and asks if we are OK, we politely—and untruthfully—say, Oh. I’m OK. Our good friends know that is not the case—maybe we don’t want to admit we’re struggling, worried, scared, sad, or under some kind of attack.
It’s not always bad to be stoic—but let’s be careful. There are downsides as well. It can make us proud and self-sufficient—it can lead me to saying, I don’t need anyone’s help. I can manage OK. That’s where good friends are such a blessing. And it says, I don’t need any divine help either. Maybe we don’t realise that God can and does make an offer to help us—God cares that you are hurting.
But, of course, we do need to take a step of faith towards the eternal God. Maybe when others have let you down, it’s the only solution you have left. Things do get beyond our own control sometimes. Asking for God’s love and help means he is there to offer advice.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by
I want to take a look now at one man in the Bible who knew a lot of good and bad times—King David. And Psalm 57 is a really interesting reading in the Old Testament. My Bible has the heading, Praise and Trust in times of Trouble. One day he was hiding in a cave fleeing from a jealous and outraged King Saul of Israel who was hell-bent on destroying him.
David was on the run as an outlaw with a price on his head. He wrote this Psalm while hiding in the cave. David had been anointed future king, and Saul did not like that one bit. He chased him out of the country with thousands of soldiers looking around the hillside to kill him. He was a refugee and knew he was in serious trouble. He says he feels as if he’s in the “midst of lions and forced to lie among ravenous beasts”.
And Be Confident God Will Help Us
Here was a good man truly fearing for his life—distressed, scared and helpless. But here’s what he wrote:
I pray to you, my protector.
You will send help from heaven
and save me…
You are faithful,
and you can be trusted.
Your love reaches higher
than the heavens;
your loyalty extends
beyond the clouds. (Psalm 57:2-3;10 – CEV).
David realised God is in control—he rules over the earth. And no-one can threaten God and get away with it. So God knew David personally, and you notice there that David didn’t try to deny what’s going on. He faces the terrible situation he’s in. He doesn’t take his eyes off God for a moment. So confident is he, that he takes up his musical instruments and starts to sing and make music. He is very sure his God will help in this time of crisis.
You may not need to go hiding—but you may be scared or afraid. Take a leaf out of David’s book—his solution wasn’t just fixing up his own problems, but he trusted a loving and powerful God to solve the problem. With us today, there’s no problem, heartache or disappointment that is too small or too big for God to help us in the ups and downs of life.
He knows our difficulties and wants to help and he won’t let us down. All you have to do is ask.