Altar Call –
There are troubles we
must not avoid
Life confirms the truth of what Jesus
said about trouble. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Most of
us would agree that no truer words were ever spoken.
Trouble, of course, comes in various
sizes and colors. A wise man once said there are three kinds of troubles:
troubles we can avoid, troubles we cannot avoid, and troubles we must not
Troubles we must not avoid are troubles
that can help us, trials from which we can learn and grow and become better
people. So there are lessons that only certain troubles can teach us. Those are
the trials we must not avoid.
When our troubles overwhelm us we
quickly tire of having so many lessons to learn. We may look at our troubles
the same way Charlie Brown did one day at the beach. Charlie Brown, that
lovable character of the comic strip “Peanuts,” was building a beautiful
sandcastle. After working on it all day he stands back to admire his work when
the castle is suddenly consumed by a huge wave.
at the mound of sand that minutes before was his sandcastle, and with that
familiar forlorn look on his face, Charlie Brown says, “There must be a lesson
here, but I don’t know what it is.”
positive attitude helps us learn the lessons the good Lord is teaching us
through our troubles. Thomas Edison had the attitude we all need. Edison was 67
when he watched helplessly as his laboratory burned to the ground. Staring at
the roaring fire, Edison said to his son, “Go get your mother quickly. She may
never see a spectacular fire like this again.”
watching his life’s work destroyed by the fire, Edison went to bed, slept well
and the next morning called his staff together. He calmly said to them, “We
will begin again; it will be better.” Like Edison, we can refuse to allow our
troubles to defeat us. We can start over.
army general had the right attitude. Zig Ziglar tells
the story of a general who found himself completely surrounded by enemy troops.
Rather than surrendering or panicking, the general turned to his soldiers and
said, “Men, for the first time in
the history of this military campaign, we are in
position to attack the enemy in
all directions." A sense of humor in a tough situation is a
will all have moments when there seems to be no way out of the troubles we
face. But in those times we can call upon the Lord to do what the song says he
can do: “make a way where there is no way.” Often this may be the best prayer
we can pray: “Lord, make a way where there is no way, and give me the courage
to follow where you lead me.”
easy life is not the answer. We learn more from our failures than our success.
When times are hard we learn what really matters. Testing strengthens us and
love a story that illustrates the attitude we need in order to learn and grow
from life’s tribulations. The story begins with the British missionary Robert
Moffatt who long ago explored Africa and became passionate about sharing the
Gospel of Christ with that continent. Returning to England Moffatt said “I have
stood on a mountain top in Africa and have seen the smoke of a thousand
villages where no white man has ever been."
A young man named David
Livingstone heard Moffatt utter those words and was motivated to answer the
call. Livingstone went to Africa and plunged more deeply into the African
jungles than anyone before him had ever dared. But an easy life it was not; lesser
men would have given up, refusing to endure the missionary’s daily struggle to
During Livingstone’s years
in Africa some folks back in England offered to send others to help him, if
"there is a good road to get to where you are." Livingstone’s reply became
famous: "If the people you propose to send must have a good road to get
here, then I cannot use them." People who require an easy road are poor
students in the school of hard knocks.
When my flesh pleads for a
trouble-free life, I need to remember that an easy life is not a good teacher.
If I face trouble with the right attitude, and humbly ask the Lord to help me,
I can become a better person while confronting the troubles I must not avoid. +