March 20, 2010

Trusting in Times of Trouble

Nahum 1:7-15

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him …
Nahum 1:7


In Nahum’s day, Nineveh was the capital of the powerful Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had laid to waste the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C., and some 20 years later the Assyrian army surrounded Jerusalem, threatening to destroy it as well.

We read about this in 2 Kings 18. The Assyrian King Sennacherib taunted Judah’s King Hezekiah by having his field commander call out to the people, “Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord… He is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us’” (2 Kings 18:30, 32).

But God did deliver Jerusalem! In 2 Kings 19 we read that during the night an angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrians’ camp and put to death 185,000 troops. So Sennacherib broke camp and returned to Nineveh, where he too was soon killed—assassinated by two of his sons (2 Kings 19:35-37).

Perhaps Nahum had this incident in mind when he spoke about the Lord being a refuge in times of trouble. Are you experiencing trouble in your life? “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The Lord’s goodness and care are most clearly displayed in Jesus, God’s Son. He is the one who said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Lord, thank you for being our refuge. It’s not always easy to trust you in a world full of trouble. Help us to strengthen each other as we trust in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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