Slightly Obsessed #212: Believe

For man is born for trouble,

As sparks fly upward.

– Job 5:7

Jesus said, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.’

– John 14:1

If it can go wrong, it will.

It is said that the author of that gem was Captain Edward A. Murphy. He reportedly uttered the words that have morphed into the expression we know today as Murphy’s law while working as an engineer on an Air Force project in 1949.

Murphy’s Law isn’t news to much of anyone, and especially not to anyone who has ever tried to hang wallpaper. I know this because I have hung some wallpaper in my life and just finished attempting to freshen up an old wall with that textured paintable stuff. It looks sturdy enough on the roll. It turns into tissue paper when it’s wet, though, and the glue on the back produces more slime than a baby’s first cold. Wallpapering one wall between some wooden beams consumed me, my husband, a ladder, box cutter, straight edge, pencil, scissors, wallpaper tray, brush, roller, cardboard, endless rags to wipe up the slime, caulk gun, and two days of our lives gone forever.

Thankfully, I our marriage survived.

Because we live in a fallen world, most anything we undertake comes with its own set of special pitfalls.

At times it feels like just getting out of bed sets us up for defeat. But we shouldn’t be surprised. God clued us in thousands of years ago in the book of Job when He warned us that we are born for trouble as surely as sparks from a fire will fly up into the sky.

Sometimes, we cause our own trouble. Sometimes, trouble finds us. Life on this earth can get us down. But Jesus’ answer to trial is as freeing as it is challenging: Don’t let trouble trouble you. We can’t control every trial that enters our lives, but we can control our response to it.

Our reaction to trouble is usually to wallow in it. God challenges us to exercise discipline over our thought life by giving our worries and heartaches to God, trusting in His sovereign power and keeping our eyes on Him. The mind is an intense battlefield upon which we fight the enemy of our faith. Concentrating on our problems opens the door to darker emotions and defeat.

I’m done with wallpapering for (ever) now, but I know real challenges await each day. I’m learning how to control the urge to let my heart wallow in my problems. Worry never changes anything except us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, I will put my trust in the God who will deliver me from evil.

The answer to our troubles, however large or small is, “Believe.”


Jesus said, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.’

-John 14:1

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