“When the chips are down” means: at the final, critical moment when things get really difficult, desperate, and urgent. In poker when all bets have been made, the chips are down, and all that remains is that the cards are turned over the result is beyond the players’ control.
I have been involved recently in situations where the chips were truly down – a pregnant woman trying to survive aggressive cancer, an elderly man facing the rest of his life in jail, and someone struggling with mental illness that makes life seem unworkable. We all face situations at some point where “the chips are down”.
If this is true for you now it is most likely that you are dealing with something beyond your control. The question for the wellbeing of our souls is: Is there help beyond the human realm? Will God help us? And if so how do we tap into his help?
It’s tempting when the chips are down to get our picture of God from our crumbling circumstances – to conclude that he can’t or won’t help us. But when difficult circumstances make it hard to see God or what he is doing our picture of him must come from reading the Bible – sort of like radar helping to locate an aircraft when it is surrounded by clouds.
The Bible tells us that God is always at work for the good of those who love and trust him (even when we can’t see much evidence right now); that he is loving and strong; and that Jesus is a picture of God – loving outcasts, fighting for freedom, and healing people.
This picture is why we can trust God, and it is why we will experience his help when we trust him consistently. So if the chips are down for you, check out the picture of God in the Bible and start looking to him for help.