Sunday, January 29, 2017

even when it seems worse

I was reading through Exodus and I realized a great important lesson. As Moses went to Egypt to obey the Lord and lead the Israelites out, some interesting things happened. He was sent by God after an experience of talking to God in a burning bush. God gave him direction and specific guidance in what he was to say and do. He explained that the deliverance of Israel was going to be a process that not only brought deliverance, but also brought punishment to Egypt for wickedness.

Moses went to Egypt and presented himself to Pharaoh with the request of letting the Israelite people go to sacrifice and worship their God. Pharaoh's response in Exodus 5:2 was "Who is this Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go."  Pharaoh refused the request, then turned around and increased the labor of the Israelites. He gave instructions that the straw was no longer supplied to the Israelite slaves, but they must gather the straw as well as meet the same quota of bricks they already must meet. When they asked why this happened, he called them lazy. The Israelites realized they were in trouble and immediately found Moses and Aaron. They basically were angry with Moses and blamed him for making things much worse than they already were. When Moses talked to God about this. God said, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."(Exodus 6:1)  God declared, "I am the Lord." (verse 2) This was followed by many conversations with Pharaoh, the 10 plagues and ultimately, the word of God becoming true as Pharaoh drove them out of Egypt. God kept His word in a mighty, miraculous victory that would never have been without His intervening.

I realized this is a spiritual principle taking place.  We often ask God for deliverances and make our requests known. but we cry out and often complain when things appear to get worse.  How many times have we made a request to God, and instead of seeing an answer right away, the situation seems to worsen?  We can make an important choice in this situation: we can continue on in faith and trust in God, or we can cry, complain and give up.  So many times, I think I have forgotten the faithfulness of God and have given up too soon.  God is making things happen that I cannot see. He may be preparing me for one of the great victories that only could happen with his deliverance, and I can't see past my circumstances. While the people thought it was getting worse, Moses obeyed God and trusted that God would do what he said. He did not give up, he kept pressing onward. He kept speaking the word that God gave him. He kept declaring the promises of God for deliverance. He pushed forward in the face of everyone else doubting and complaining. He lead the people to victory.

Sometimes, we face difficulties that seem to increase. Sometimes, circumstances grow and become ever more burdensome, just so God can say, "Now you will see what I will do."  Sometimes, victory comes through waiting on God to do what He said he will do.  He is faithful and He is good. He does not fail.  We do. When we let our faith waver in the face of growing distraction, fear, and get our eyes off of God, we fail.  We may even lose out on a great victory that God was setting up for us. He knows more than we know. He is working on  our behalf and his ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:9) We may not see the big picture when we are bogged down in the middle of a situation. He does and he knows what we have need of.

So I see how sometimes, we may only think things are getting worse, but it is really God bringing about a greater miracle than we could ever dream. He is working to bring about good things for us. He is working to bring about blessings in our lives. He is working to give us an even greater testimony of His goodness and power. We need to trust in Him and believe that He is good and we have no reason to doubt or fear, for what he is doing is for our good. We may not understand it in the moment, and it may bring about those who may ridicule, laugh, and call us crazy, but when we trust in God, He will do what he says he will do.  He will be faithful.  Do not give up, even when it seems hope is running the other way.  Do not give up, for God is working on your side. He will bring victory and deliverance like only He can do. He will bring forth mighty miracles that will bring us to know that He is the Lord. He will perform His word. We will be able to declare that He is the Lord!

Hebrews 10:36  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Psalms 111:7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

If you are facing a situation that seems to only get worse, don't give up, for God's mighty hand is moving to bring forth deliverance. He is able and He will do what He said He will do. He is Lord!

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