Psalm 34:19 (NLT) stresses that “The  righteous face many troubles , but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.”

People have all kinds of problems. Mostly, we are reminded to pray for those who have critical physical needs. Along with that, we know many with family issues, and employment concerns. We could make an extremely long list of prayer needs, and could look in the mirror and see ourselves, as needy persons.

So, what does a verse like v. 19 really say to us in our multiple life issues and problems? Some of the thoughts which have come to me are centered on God’s love and power. A verse like this testifies to the great love that God has for us. He is concerned about EVERY need we have. His love is limitless. Incredibly, He is immeasurably  concerned about us, and all our problem-plagued friends and family. While we know He is ultimately concerned about us, we sometimes wonder about the capacity of His problem solving abilities. Our minds tell us He can do the job; our hearts may not be totally confident in His actual helping capability.

We can come to some helpful conclusions. God is able to accomplish every good thing in our lives. Yet, when prayers seem to go unanswered, we wonder why. Some of our biggest problems relate to watching the suffering of good people, for example, beloved older persons, and innocent little children. Not only do good  people live with seemingly unresolved problems, but, often people die without our knowing answers. We all want relief from pain. Many  times we get relief, even in pronounced, miraculous ways. But, it is the other times that puzzles, even disillusions us. In the concluding words of 2 Timothy 4:20 (NLT) , Paul briefly states “…I left Trophimus sick at Miletus.” I have wondered, with the gifts of healing, why Paul did not take a minute, or so, and pray for his friend to be healed (Do not tell the TV evangelists about this! They will be disillusioned! LOL!) Oftentimes, we do not know why God answers, or does not answer certain prayers.

Since God is able to do every good thing, that must mean that His delivering us from all our afflictions may have broader implications than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. A highly respected minister, in his later years, developed cancer in his bones. He was known to have said that this was God’s last opportunity to do good in his life. Sometimes the most painful results point us to higher and more blessed experiences. Maybe only the most mature Christians are able to see the larger picture of God’s deliverance from troubles. I  am still working on it.

James Thomason

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