Talking to The Troublemakers

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Do you ever talk to your troublemakers? There’s a conversation in your head, or upon your bed late in the night, and your trouble is as real in that moment as if you were living the actual experience. It becomes hard to tell if you’re talking to yourself, God, or the troublemakers, right?

Ever paced the room or driven down the road talking out loud, hands waving, with no one else around, then realized what you were doing? Ever wake up in the middle of the night because the troublemakers are on your mind?

The emotions make you swell and express the frustrations, pain, and desire for a remedy or retribution. Back and forth goes the conversation - talk to God - then the troublemakers - then God again.

Embarrassed? Don’t be. King David did it too! (From Psalm 4). (Disclosure: The night before I prepared this message, I experienced it - two hours of wrestling before the rest returned! Can you relate?)

1. The Troubled Petitioner (1)

· David talks to God in the language of reality and relationship, not religion. Lord, others are making trouble for me. You’ve helped me before; I’m trusting you to help me now.

(When distress visits remember God’s past deliverances. Experience is a better guide than emotions / appearance).

· A basic human need is a sense of security, but each year has four seasons and many storms! When we feel vulnerable, victimized, the object of another’s vendetta, it gets to us.

The voice in our head says from the heart, I’m struggling here! (It’s good to talk the trouble out so long as you take it to God).

2. The Talking Petitioner (2-6)

· (2) David talks to the troublemakers as though they were in the room, like a letter written but never sent! Why are you destroying my reputation? Why are you full of yourself, speaking falsehoods, making more trouble for me, and you!?

(Talking it out clarifies: They’re in trouble not me 1 Pet. 3:10-12).

· (3) You might seek my harm, but I trust the Lord. I’ll leave this alone and the outcome and vindication to God.

 (When we seek to hurt a brother, we hinder the gospel and injure Christ’s body Acts 9:3-6).

· (4-5) Isn’t there something better you can do with your life?! Do you not fear and reverence the Lord? You’ve got enough trouble in your life, why make more by attacking me?

Check your motives, put your money where your mouth is, let God deal with it and leave me alone! (Preacher’s paraphrase!)

· (6) By the way, you’re not the only ones seeking favor at the expense of others. Troublemakers are attracted to those who seek to be blessed by burdening another.

(Stay far away from them Pr. 4:14-19)

3. The Tranquil Petitioner (7-8)

· (7) After you’ve talked it out in your head, told off the troublemakers, got it off your chest…recount the goodness of God in your life, count your many blessings, and with gladness toward God...

· (8) ...Stop pacing and go to sleep in peace! Lord, what am I worried about? You’ve got this, you know the truth, you know how to take care of the troublemakers.

I return now to my rest in You, my strength, my song, and my safety. (Friend, stop talking to the trouble and take it to the Lord – Mt. 11:28-30).

Stop talking to the troublemakers! It was no accident that God allowed me to experience the sermon the night before I etched it.

Those uneasy hours in the night drove me to talk it out, pray it over, deal with my emotions, and wrestle them over to God (Gen. 32:26). Gratitude returned, so did sleep.

When I awoke the trouble was distant. But the goodness of God, family, friends, and a sense that God’s got this, was secure. My friend, prayer will do you go

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