The Portrait Hall: “Pictures From the Party”
Most of us have pictures of a party or celebration. It is a time when the cameras come out and flashes go off. Whether a family celebration, a graduation, a wedding or a reunion – these kinds of snapshots make up the bulk of the family album. Not every shot is posed and form perfect in a studio, life isn’t like that. As will our lives, so with this story of David, we have less a portrait but more a snapshot of a time of great celebration. This joyous moment came after a very dark time, when David’s inner response was to meet and share with a God of light and good gifts.
Problems pour out on us sometimes, feeling like a pummeling of wet cement being poured over us to defeat us. Yet, the key to cement is working it before it becomes hardened and unworkable. The key is not the amount of cement, nor the weight of the cement, it is our response to the pouring!
Key Principle: Our prompt and proper response to trouble is the key to an outcome that pleases God.
How problems come: (30:1-2).
- Starts with being in the wrong place (29:11).
- When not where we belong, we can easily neglect our real God-given responsibilities (30:1-2).
What the problems look like: (30:3-6)
- Sometimes you appear to lose your things (3a).
- Sometimes you appear to lose your dearest love (3b).
- Sometimes you appear to lose you future (3b).
- Sometimes you appear to lose your emotional footing (4-5).
- Sometimes you appear to lose your friends (6a).
Ten Proper Responses to the Troubles: (30:6b-31).
Depending on how it is handled, a crisis can either make us or break us: The Chinese do not have an alphabet as we know it. Rather than letters, words are represented by symbols. They have an interesting word-symbol for “crisis.” It is a combination of the symbols for “danger” and “opportunity.”
- Deal with God in your heart promptly and directly (6b). Remember, things are not as they seem, they are as God says they are!
Pastor Brian Atwood writes: “PUT WORSHIP BEFORE WARFARE. David is well known as a mighty man of warfare. His legendary entry into armed combat takes place against a giant named Goliath. With a sling, and the experience of protecting his father’s flocks against predators like lions and bears, David defeats the monster of a man in front of him. After that David joins Saul’s army and becomes so well known as a warrior that they sing songs about him. But don’t miss the point of David’s entire life. Before anything else – David was a first rate worshipper.
- Bring on a godly friend to help offer counsel and direction (7). Wounds cause us to see things in an unclear way, and another set of eyes on the problem can help dramatically!
- Seek God’s guidance for help solving all the symptoms beyond what your heart dealt with in step one. (8). Beside settling the past with him (#1), there is the issue of the future…
- Obey the direction that God reveals (9a). It seems funny to even mention it, but we will be tempted to go back to our “natural way” of dealing with the problems.
- If you led others in the wrong direction, lead them back in the right one (9b-10). Part of taking responsibility is looking at who else was hurt by your bad choices and making it right with them and for them.
- Keep the plan adjustable as God reveals more facts (11-16). Don’t set every new decision in stone. It is unwise to make judgments when some facts are not yet clear.
- Stand up and fight with all you have for what you believe in (17-20). Things that are important will need to be fought for. The good is the foe of the best!
- Walk with integrity even when exhausted (21-22). Don’t get too weary of the right direction. We cannot make the goal by quitting.
- Keep acknowledging to yourself and others the source of every victory (23-25). God gives victory. When my choices are right and things work out, it is still because of the Lord and not me!
- Share all the accolades of victory with those who need it! (26-31). Look around. Your good fortunes have been bestowed on you to share with others!
(Psalm 50:15) The Lord says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Remember, depending on how it is handled, a crisis can either make us or break us. Our prompt and proper response to trouble is the key to an outcome that pleases God.