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Intersection of Life and Faith

<< Activate with Pastor Jesse Bradley

Activate - August 13

  • 2013 Aug 13

Passage: Numbers 11:23
The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
One of the lowest points of my life occurred when I nearly died from toxic levels of a prescribed medication. I was playing professional soccer in Zimbabwe at the time. My physician gave me the well-known medication to prevent the possibility of contracting malaria. Unfortunately, I had an extreme adverse reaction to the drug. My body was unable to process the medication, resulting in toxic levels of the drug inside of my body. Some of my symptoms included vision problems, massive fatigue, migraine headaches, mood swings, bizarre dreams, and several cardiac  abnormalities. My heart would sometimes beat 160 times a minute while I was resting, including an atrial flutter. The results included many serious and complex health issues, and there were no answers regarding a possible recovery. It was like a constant storm; I felt like a table that had its legs removed quickly and shattered on the ground. The experience was an absolute nightmare (literally at times), and made me wonder, “What do I still have left?”
My  soccer  career  was  finished,  and  my  recovery process took many years. In chapters 6 and 23 in the book of Job, he cries out that his anguish and misery couldn’t be weighed on the scale. The levels of pain in his life were indescribable and off the charts. My challenges were smaller than what Job went through, but those verses really resonated with me. There were times in my struggle when I didn’t feel that God was there. By His grace though, God can bring good things out of the cruelest trials. Ironically, my illness became the time in my life when my faith eventually grew the most, and God also used my illness to redirect me into ministry. At that point, I fully realized that if I was able to live or if something good came out of my life, it would be by the grace of God.
There is absolutely no situation or part of your life that can’t be reached by the grace of God! Nothing is too difficult for God. Moses was leading an estimated 2 million people in the desert when God said He would provide food including meat for the next month. Moses, one of the greatest spiritual leaders, didn’t believe this was possible. Moses knew that no person was able to feed everyone, but Moses initially underestimated what God could do. God asked Moses the question in this verse, implying that certainly God’s arm was not too short to accomplish this goal. Sometimes we forget how God can reach down and what He can bring into our lives. God still cares for you when no one else is able to help you. God will not abandon you in the darkest or most terrifying hour.
Look at some of the ways that God reaches down to us in difficult situations. Take some time to read and consider the following passages:
1) Loneliness And Fear: Read Genesis chapter 16 and observe how God sees Hagar, a single mom, and provides  for  her  when  she  runs  out  of  hope  and supplies.
2) Rejection: Read Jeremiah chapter 38 and notice how the prophet Jeremiah was innocent but thrown into a deep well and left there to starve to death. God provides a man named Ebed-Melech who notices Jeremiah and gathers a group of people to lift him to safety.
3) Dishonesty: Read Luke chapter 19 and discover how Zacchaeus lied to people and took advantage of people, yet Jesus still wanted to spend time with him.
4) Despair: Read Psalm 40 and hear how David sunk into depression, but God lifted him out of the muddy pit and gave him a firm place to stand.
5) Impurity: Read John chapter 8 and study how Jesus finds a woman who was caught in adultery. Jesus responds graciously to her and tells her also to go and sin no more. She receives a fresh start to her life.
6) Pain And Demons: Read Mark chapter 5 and picture how Jesus heals a demon-possessed man and rescues him from the thrashing he has endured.
7) Death And Grieving: Read John chapter 11 and see how Jesus speaks into the tomb of Lazarus and with His voice calls Lazarus out of the grave. Jesus then comforts the mourners with His presence and promises.
1) Which of the seven examples listed above is similar to your situation?
2) Why is God so willing to enter into the most painful and confusing moments of your life?
3) When has God surprised you with His power?
4) Do you know anyone who would benefit from your encouragement this week?
Deeper Study:
Ephesians 3:14-21. Good roots lead to good fruit.
Matthew 14:13-21. Jesus can thoroughly satisfy those who are hungry.
2  Timothy  1:6-9.  God  can  replace  your  timidity  with boldness.
Nahum 1:7. Your first step forward is to trust God with your heart.
Judges 3:12-15. Don’t stop praying because you made a bad decision.
Psalm  121.  Lift  your  eyes  above  your  situation  to  your strong Creator.
Father God, please help me to remember that Your strong arm is not too short. Forgive me for my pride in not turning to You. You know the low points in my life right now, I pray that You will bring Your hope, healing, and strength to these situations. And I pray for my friends who are in deep over their heads, rescue and encourage them I pray, Lord Jesus. I pray this in Your name, Lord. Amen.

For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit