In Psalm 107, you will notice that verses 8, 15, 21, & 31 all read exactly the same. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! I mentioned that if God repeated this same message four times that it must be very important. Everyone agree?
However, I was so fascinated by those verses that I missed some other powerful repetitions. In my reading this morning, God brought them to my attention.
Vs. 6 - Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
Vs. 13 - Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Vs. 19 - Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
Vs. 28 - Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Did you catch that? This one passage tells us four times that the Lord delivered His people out of their distresses. You may be wondering what that has to do with us today. Do you realize that "distress" is a synonym for "stress"? Are any of you acquainted with stress? I think if we're honest, we would all agree that life can be very stressful. Trying to make ends meet. Economic crisis. Living from paycheck to paycheck. Wondering if we'll still have a job tomorrow. Let's face it, life is stressful. But, here's the good news: God can deliver us out of that stress. How? I'm glad you asked.
1. He leads us in the way we need to go. - vs. 7
If we are faithful to follow the Lord's leading, we will stay in His will. If we are in His will, then all will be well. Does that mean no bad things will happen? No, but it means we will have peace knowing that we are where God wants us to be.
2. He brightens our days. - vs. 14
Ever feel like you're surrounded by darkness? Ever feel like there's no light to be found? I have, but the truth is Jesus is the Light. He can brighten even our darkest days if we'll allow Him to. Spend a few minutes with Him and see if you don't notice a ray of light on the horizon.
3. He speaks to us - vs. 20
What a privilege to know that the God of this world takes time to speak to His children! He has given us His Word as a lamp for our feet and light for our path. He speaks to us through messages and songs. He nudges our heart and whispers to us in His still, small voice. God still speaks. The question is, "Are we listening?"
4. He calms our storms or our souls - vs. 29
The McKameys sing a song entitled "Sometimes He Calms Me." The message of the song is that sometimes it is God's will for us to go through a storm, but during those times in which He will not calm the storm, He can calm us. He gives us sweet peace to make it through the trial. He knows what we need, and as much as we don't like it, sometimes we need the storms. But, even during those times, we need not stress, for God can calm our troubled hearts.
Before we leave, I want to add one thing. Did you notice that before God delivered Israel from their distress, they cried to Him? Yes, God knows our problems, but He still wants us to talk to Him. Spend some time with Him today and pour out your burdens to Him. Cry on His shoulder. Then allow His peace to settle over you and trust Him to bring you out of your distress.