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“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 In troubled times, we become acutely aware of our need for rescue. When the currents of life are rising all around us and it seems as if there is no way to survive, even if we are not saved from the situation, our immediate need is security in the midst of it. Jesus becomes our oasis in the midst of the desert. He is our solid rock in the midst of troubled waters. He is within reach at all times if we merely reach out to Him. In those moments of despair, when hope is wavering because of the insurmountable pressure, we should not merely cry out in pain and agony. Our cry must be directed towards the One who can save us. Oh, if men would direct their cries towards God alone as the only rock of their salvation. If they would stretch out their hands in the dark and gloom to discover that there is another Hand on the other side to lead and guide them towards a brighter future….

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.

“Then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17 When it appears as if everything is well, any word will do. Extracurricular activities and entertainment may occupy one’s time and attention. There would be a generalized approach towards Church, leadership, and life. Convicting messages appear to be too harsh and insensitive. An approach to reach common ground among all men is then the agenda of those where a distinct sound of warning is not heard. Then trouble comes! New questions and concerns are raised when we hear from Him. There is a quest for real answers that can navigate the lost soul to a safe harbor. “Is there any word from the Lord?” We want to know if there is a true message to be relied upon. We need more than what would otherwise tickle our ears. That would be the same as taking a drug to desensitize oneself from the pain and somehow thinking that we have escaped the pressure. God is speaking today, but not what many wish to hear. His truth challenges the very core of our being….

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”  Daniel 2:21 These times are different from any other. There was a time when people both thought and acted differently. The environment has an effect upon the times. The mood is set by the atmosphere. God orders it in response to prayer on the part of His people. During the times of peace and prosperity, the people are at ease. But when trouble comes, there is an unsettling among them. God examines and tries the heart of every person. Rebellion is not the result of the times, but rather the times are the result of man’s rebellion. He changes the times to reflect the attitude on earth expressed towards Him. But when we pray and seek Him with our whole hearts, a new season of revival will begin. He will give us leaders who are after His own heart when our hearts are directed towards Him. Otherwise, those who will lead will reflect the attitude of the people they are leading. Yes God changes both times and seasons, but His attention is…

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends:” Jer 16:19 (MSG) Trouble descends as a storm from above. Rain can be gentle and refreshing or it can come down as a deluge leading to a flood. The former is refreshing producing growth and clears the pollen. While the latter overflows the banks and destroys everything in its path. It is evident that there will be times of trouble as there are times of refreshing. A troubled people will live in a troubled world. The environment is not determined by the righteous alone. We are in this world and not the environment that we will one day attain. Yet while we are here, we have a refuge. God is our strength and our safe retreat. We are guarded by our Master who is also our Savior. We are safe as we find shelter under the covering of His grace. He refreshes us and protects us from the apparent dangers as well as those unseen. As it descends, before it reaches us, we are protected even before the clouds gather and the forecast is given.