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A Place Called "Wits End"? The Five Phases We Go Through
“They tremble to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and have lost their wits.” Psalm 107:27. This story begins in verse 23. In verses 23 and 24 we find several holy men on a merchant ship selling their goods. We know he is having a good day because he is praising God.
But in verses 25 and 26 a sudden storm comes suddenly. And it’s big. The storm is so dangerous that they are afraid to save their lives.
In verse 27 we see these men being thrown so violently that the only thing they can do is hang. There is nothing they can do to save themselves. They are at their “wit”.
Like these sailors — sometimes in our Christian life everything goes right. We thank God for all the wonderful things he has done for us. Then suddenly came a storm. And they kept coming. The burdens became so great that you could not find a way out. It seemed you couldn’t take it anymore. You found yourself crying, “God when will this stop?” – you were at your wits end.
FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING THROUGH THE “STAGE OF OUR LIFE”
1. “Wisdom Ends” Is Where God Sometimes Causes – See in verse 5 that God commanded the storm. No matter what storm you go through – God put you there. He knows what he’s doing – He’s not fooled. The good news is, before you had a problem – they had a solution.
He put you there for His purpose. (It belongs to Him) (He is the owner). “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to the determination of his heart. Romans 8:28
He is trying to bring something out of your heart, to bring you to full faith and trust in Him. Or to encourage you to do a special job that has a purpose in your life. Sometimes we think we are waiting for God to show us something, when He is waiting for us to grow up to reveal it to us.
2. “The End of Wisdom” Is Where God Tests Us – He allows difficulties to fall upon us (storms). It could be a job loss, an illness, an eviction notice, family problems, or an addiction.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, whose hope is Jehovah.” Jeremiah 17:7. He wants to lead us to the path of obedience, trusting Him to bless us. I believe God is looking down on us, to make us happy, Brother Ray, you can do it. Trust me I will bless you. Sometimes we are very close, but never give up.
Sometimes we don’t pass the test and He can go ahead and get us through it. But when we don’t, here comes another case behind it. Here comes the second wave in our storm. If we only trusted him with the first test (wave), the second wave would not come.
3. “Wisdom is the place where we sometimes fail the Lord – We fail God when we don’t trust him. When we rely on ourselves or others to fix our problems. “Says Jehovah; Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and whose hand makes man’s flesh, whose heart departs from Jehovah.” – Jeremiah 17:5
Israel wondered in the wilderness for 40 years and could not endure the temptation. And God had provided solutions to all their problems. When they crossed the Red Sea they rejoiced and praised God, but they were afraid of the next trial when they found the bitter waters of Marah.
Israel received forty years of miraculous food – miraculous water – miraculous cloud during the day – miraculous fire at night – miraculous protection – miraculous clothing that did not wear out. And yet they still doubted God. And all but two men died in the desert without believing at all. God really wanted to bring them into Canaan, the land of milk and honey. But they did not trust God with their storm.
4. “Wisdom will end” and the place God takes us – We read in verses 28 and 29 that God took control and stopped the storm and brought them peace.
The sailors had to make two decisions before taking God. First they had to admit to themselves and God that neither they nor anyone else could help them. Second, they cried out to the Lord – turning to him alone.
Sometimes God has to break us – make us trust Him – so He can fix us.
5. “Wits End” Is Where Our Trials Become Gifts. (after victory) – Sometimes his order is not what I would choose myself. I can’t choose to be broke and penniless, to lose my family, or to be homeless (digging through garbage), or to be cold or hungry, or to use drugs, or to be lonely – but I’ve been all of those things. I know a place called “wits end.”
I pray that I will never have to face these storms again. But I didn’t take anything from the gifts he brought me.
Thousands of people are beginning to bring others to Christ through “Bridge Ministries”. We have been gifted through our trials. Everyone has, or will, experience a major tragedy in their life. As Christians, when we overcome these temptations through faith in God, they become gifts that can be used to comfort others and bring them to Christ.
“What a wonderful God we have – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of all mercy, and the one who comforts us wonderfully and strengthens us in our sufferings and trials. And why does he do this? some are suffering, and need our mercy and encouragement, we can give them help and this comfort that God has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.
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