SO THAT IS WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME
For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.
Have you ever had something very difficult, painful, and heartbreaking come into your life—and the problem seemed to last for a very long time?
1. Perhaps it was/is some illness like cancer that requires endless rounds of chemo and radiation.
2. Perhaps it was/is an ongoing drug problem with one of your children that tears at the marriage bonds and rocks the very foundation of the family.
3. Perhaps it was/is the pain of dealing with a bitter ex-spouse or controlling in-laws.
4. Perhaps it was/is the care of a dying loved one who lingers in a debilitating state for years.
When we have ongoing problems like this, we naturally ask God, “WHY?!! Why won’t you fix this, God? Why are you so slow in answering my prayer? What is the purpose of this prolonged agony?!”
While God does not often answer the “why” questions, He does want to answer the “what is the purpose” question. Once you can see the purpose of it all, it changes your perspective and helps you to “consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.”
LEARN FROM MOSES WITH PHARAOH
God met Moses at the burning bush and gave him an important assignment: deliver My people from Pharaoh. Although fearful and feeling so inadequate, Moses obeyed God’s command and went to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, with the following message, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Let My people go.’” Pharaoh replied (and I paraphrase), “No way, Jose! Who is the LORD that I (Mr. Big Shot, Pharaoh) should obey His voice? I do not know the LORD and neither shall I let His people go.”
As a result of Moses’ first encounter with Pharaoh, Pharaoh increased the hardship on the Jews and ceased providing straw for the bricks. Moses became greatly disliked among the Jews for causing their plight to worsen. And Moses said in exasperation, “WHY GOD?!!!! Why did you send me to Pharaoh? You told me that You would deliver Your people, but You didn’t. I only made things worse. What gives, God?”
Moses did not understand what God was doing. If you are going to deliver, God, do it. Hit Pharaoh with your knockout punch and let’s get outta here. That was not God’s way because that would not have accomplished His purpose. Ten plagues and the Red Sea disaster were in Pharaoh’s future. So why did God use that method and that drawn out plan? The Lord gives us the answer:
For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. But, indeed, for this cause I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth. Exodus 9:14-16
Do you see it? God’s purpose was to proclaim His name through the earth. A one-shot, knockout punch would not have accomplished His purpose like a drawn out, ten-plague assault did.
Whatever problem you might be facing in life, realize that God wants to use it to show the world that He is the true God, and there is no one else like Him. While we want immediate deliverance from our troubles, God often waits to deliver. Understandably, He gets MORE glory when we face a problem with His supernatural joy and peace than He does by simply delivering us in a snap of the fingers.
Your lost friends, neighbors, and loved ones see Christ in you more clearly when you go through a trial with a song in your heart. When they see you rejoice even in hardships, they quietly think, If my Christian friend can face that great trial and still have joy and peace, there must be something to this thing called Christianity. I wish I had what they have.
Will you take your problems and praise God for them? He wants to use the difficulties to proclaim His name through you. Will you choose to see your hardships as a test—a test to see if you will trust God regardless of the circumstances so that the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Jesus can seep from your life?
I love what one writer said, “Problems are not obstacles to faith, they are opportunities to show forth God’s faithfulness.” May it be so in you and me!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Moses is dead. Joshua is now the new leader of Israel. Needless to say, Joshua has some BIG shoes to fill. He must rise to the challenge as he trusts the Lord and walks by faith. The same is true for us. In this series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares powerful insights from the Book of Joshua that will help us walk in victory and possess our Promised Land!