Do you ever feel like you seem to be doing everything you know to be good and right, and yet, more trouble seems to knock on your door? You’re doing what is expected and what you believe you are called to do, but things just don’t seem to pan out the way you planned and difficulty follows?
It’ not unheard of for steps of faith to be met with challenges or moving into where you feel God leading to suddenly see trouble rear its ugly head, and/or even increase.
I was reminded of this as I read through the book of Exodus. The children of Israel had been in bondage for over four hundred years and God was ready to deliver them. He sent Moses to Pharaoh as the lead man on this deliverance project and demanded that he let His people go.
Rather than heed God’s demand given through Moses, Pharaoh ridiculed, saying, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?” (Exodus 5:2).
To make matters worse, Pharaoh’s stubborn attitude toward God and His people didn’t stop there. As a slap in the face, he increased the burden of their work and made their daily toil even harder and more difficult then it had previously been.
Moses was taken aback by this and even took his concerns to God saying, “For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all,” (Exodus 5:23).
Times like these can be confusing and hard to take in, but as I kept reading there are some very encouraging words God spoke directly to Moses during those difficult days that I believe can help us too if we apply it to our own circumstances. From those beautiful, God-inspired sentiments, I have gleaned a few “remembering” points for us to hold on to.
- Remember, God has a plan. “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land,” (Exodus 6:1). What we “see” is not what God sees. Our view of even our own circumstances is limited to the here and now. But God sees the past, the here and now, and the plan coming to fulfillment in the future. While we struggle to get through the day to day, God already knows the end from the beginning and everything He is pushing us for and leading us through is that one day we will get to experience the end of that plan that He already sees.
- Remember who God is. “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty…” (Exodus 6:2-3). God knows who He is, but we are the ones that need reminding who we are dealing with – or rather, who it is that is dealing on our behalf. God is God all by Himself. He exists of Himself. He is Creator and Originator of all. He is the “high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy…” (Isaiah 57:15). He is our eternal God who reigns forever and ever (Exodus 15:18) and we must remember that it is this same, powerful and wonderful God that is with us even on the days when it seems like trouble is running rampant.
- Remember, God is in a covenant relationship with His people. “I have established by covenant with them…” (Exodus 6:4; compare Psalm 105:8-11). God’s covenant covers so many things for His people (i.e. they would increase, and the land of Canaan would be theirs). When God binds Himself to an oath and says He’s going to do something, He’s going to do it (see Isaiah 54:10). The process to get there may not look like we envisioned, but in a covenant, God is covering and protecting what He said for His people, and it shall come to pass. And, because we are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we too are now in a covenant relationship where God has us covered as well (see Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:15).
- Remember, God sees and hears what you are going through. “I have also heard the groanings of the children of Israel…” (Exodus 6:5). The hairs of your head are numbered (Matthew 10:30). You are of great value to God (Luke 12:7). And, you are incredibly loved by God. You are never far from God’s thoughts (Psalm 40:5). With that being said, God sees, and God hears. Sometimes the wait is long (they waited over four hundred years), but God is not oblivious to your plight and what you’re dealing with. God is very much mindful and attentive to the goings on in your life. He is genuinely concerned with the things you are concerned about and just because we don’t see Him immediately moving to remedy the troublesome situations doesn’t mean He’s not behind the scenes working it out.
- Remember, God’s promises will never fail. “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord,” (Exodus 6:6-8). Now, this one is quite extensive and with good reason. In the above verses, we find several “I will” statements of God. These are imperative because with God’s “I will” statements there is always a fulfilling of what He said He would do. That’s crucial to our faith and even in our ability to hang on in there when days just don’t seem to be working out for us. Every single thing He promised the children of Israel during that time came to pass and later, Joshua was able to say, “There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass,” (Joshua 21:45). We must believe that when God gives us a promise, in the same way He did for those back then, He will do it for us too. Yes, there will be hard times – sometimes harder than some will ever know, but we have a God who is not only in charge of everything we are facing, but He is also in charge of everything we have been promised and He is the only one that can bring those promises to pass.
Difficult days, we’re all sure to experience them from time to time but all does not have to feel at a loss. Listen to the encouragement that God gave to Moses and hold on to those words. Let what God says on the matter overrun what your circumstances, people, or even the things we tell ourselves about the matter. Surely, what He has to say is more powerful and helpful to help get us through even the most adverse of times.
Through it all, we know the end of their story was a success. God did everything He said He would do and the people were freed from a life of servitude and bondage, proving difficult days don’t have the final say. God does!