The Christian believer is often found in the midst of trials and troubles. Sickness, bereavement, affliction, and disappointment is our lot betimes. As the hymn reminds us, there are many occasions in the Christian's experience "when afflictions press the soul and waves of sorrow roll". It is in such times that one is tempted to give in to doubts and fears, and even the subtle insinuations of Satan. "Has God forgotten to be gracious?" asked the Psalmist. "Carest thou not that we perish?" murmured the disciples of Christ. Jacob gave vent to similar feelings when he cried:"..all these things are against me." Yet, he found out in the aftermath of the events which led to this faulty conclusion that "all these things" were not, in fact, against him. Rather, "all things" in his life were working "together for good" to him as a lover of God, and one who had been "called according to His purpose". The promises of God are there for believers to lay hold upon in their times of trouble and affliction. Indeed, our "light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh FOR US a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.." When we lack the faith of assurance, let us still exercise the faith of adherence - clinging to our God. "When the storms of life are raging, billows wild on sea and land, I will seek a place of refuge in the hollow of God's hand."
Rev. Stephen Hamilton
Rev. Stephen Hamilton is the minister of Lehigh Valley Free Presbyterian Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania.