If You’re Human, You’ll Have Trouble

If You’re Human, You’ll Have Trouble February 27, 2024

Numerous small yellow traffic signs saying "TROUBLE"
Humans will experience trouble throughout their lives [Picture courtesy of Pixabay]
The lyrics to a popular Taylor Swift song, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” aptly sum up what life is like—“Trouble, trouble, trouble.”  This characterization fits the lives of both believers and non-believers alike. Are Christians doing something wrong if they have trouble in their life? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, if you are human, you’ll have trouble.

What’s Trouble?

Cambridge Dictionary defines “trouble” as problems or difficulties. Trouble can cover a wide range of problems, and it may depend on the person. A couch potato may find it difficult to pass a physical fitness test, whereas a fit active-duty soldier might find meeting that requirement a breeze. Trouble can be big, such as a debilitating illness, or it can be small, an annoyance such as having to stop for gas instead of going straight home after a tiring day at work. Problems can occur daily (a struggling relationship) or they can show up every now and then (a storm during hurricane season).

Trouble impacts all aspects of human life. It may affect finances, health, employment, relationships (dysfunctional families, infidelity), and behavior (anger, addiction, lust), among others.

The Consequences Of Trouble

Experiencing trouble can lead to more trouble. Manifestations of trouble typically appear in three areas. Clinical psychologist Monica Vermani analogizes the consequences to a three-legged stool.

Physical manifestations such as headaches and insomnia are the first leg of the stool. For example, inability to pay bills may lead to stress headaches and sleeplessness. Negative thoughts (hopelessness, self-deprecation, etc.) comprise the stool’s second leg. The third leg of the stool is maladaptive behaviors such as eating or drinking too much.

Old three-legged stool sits on the ground casting a shadow.
Like the three legs of a stool, trouble can manifest itself in three ways [Picture courtesy of Pixabay]

You’ll Have Trouble

Often people, especially believers, are surprised when trouble appears on their doorstep. Isn’t life supposed to be better once they’re saved? If they are living a faithful life, why does trouble arise? The answer is trouble is inevitable. Humans reside in an imperfect world, so why wouldn’t there be trouble in it? Actually, it’s irrational to believe they won’t suffer trouble. Expecting trouble to come at some point and being prepared to meet it is a healthier approach.

An even better reason for believers to expect trouble in life is Jesus told His disciples that in this world they would have trouble. He expressly stated so in John 16:33.

Jesus certainly faced troubles in His time on Earth—betrayal by Judas, physical abuse by the Roman soldiers, and temptation by the devil. How can believers expect their earthly lives to be better? They can’t because the reality is trouble is certain.

Biblical Trouble

The pages of the Good Book teem with trouble and lack characters who experience no troubles whatsoever. In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s directive about the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden requiring them to leave paradise. King Saul suffered from a mental disturbance which caused fits of rage. Abraham’s wife Sarah struggled with infertility. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape leading to his wrongful imprisonment. King David gave into lust resulting in adultery and premeditated murder. Mephibosheth was lame. The widow who appealed to Elisha for assistance faced financial straits. Hosea’s wife failed to remain faithful.

The New Testament also contains plenty of trouble. Mary, a single teen, dealt with an unplanned pregnancy. Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives when they gave into greed and lied about the sales proceeds they donated to the church. A thorn in his side troubled Paul.

How To Deal With Trouble

If trouble is a given, how can people handle it? The answer isn’t a mystery. Prior to ascending to heaven, Jesus left His disciples with words of comfort and encouragement. His statement they would face trouble in the world was immediately followed by the words, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Believers can take courage in Christ’s victory.

Jesus never promised to erase trouble from our lives. Instead, He promises to give us both comfort and peace while we are in the midst of trouble. Jesus stated He was leaving us with peace and gives us His peace because He does not want our hearts to be troubled.

Text of John 14:27 set out on blue background in colorful lettering with hearts, suns, and flowers for decoration.
Jesus emphasized He was giving His followers peace [Picture courtesy of Pixabay]
His mission in coming to earth to die on a cross to save us from our sins is the key to peace despite troubled circumstances. The sacrifice of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, makes it possible for us to be at peace with God, at peace within ourselves, and at peace with others.

Taming Trouble

Humans experience trouble, and being a Christian does not change that reality. While we can’t avoid trouble, we can claim peace during its occurrence. Surrendering worry and fear to Jesus and trusting in His love for us and His track record in overcoming the world tames trouble. If you are human, you will have trouble. But Christians can counter “trouble, trouble, trouble” with peace.

About Alice H. Murray
After 35 years as a Florida adoption attorney, Alice H. Murray now pursues a different path as Operations Manager for End Game Press. With a passion for writing, she is constantly creating with words. Her work includes contributions to several Short And Sweet books, The Upper Room, Chicken Soup For The Soul, Abba’s Lessons (from CrossRiver Media), and the Northwest Florida Literary Review. Alice is a regular contributor to GO!, a quarterly Christian magazine in the Florida Panhandle, and she has three devotions a month published online by Dynamic Women in Missions. Her devotions have also appeared in compilation devotionals such as Ordinary People Extraordinary God (July 2023) and Guideposts’ Pray A Word A Day, Vol. 2 (June 2023) and pray a word for Hope (September 2023). Alice’s first book, The Secret of Chimneys, an annotated Agatha Christie mystery, was released in April 2023 with a second such book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, to be released in April 2025. On a weekly basis, Alice posts on her blog about current events with a humorous point of view at aliceinwonderingland.wordpress.com. You can read more about the author here.

Browse Our Archives