AHH. SO THAT IS WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME
Have you ever had something very difficult, painful and heartbreaking come into your life. and the problem seemed to last for such a loooooong time?
- Perhaps it is some illness like cancer that requires endless rounds of chemo and radiation.
- Perhaps it is an ongoing drug problem with one of your children that tears at the marriage bonds and rocks the very foundation of the family.
- Perhaps it is the pain of dealing with a bitter ex-spouse or controlling in-law.
- Perhaps it 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 long 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, "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 that way. Ten plagues and the Red Sea disaster were in Pharaoh's future. And why did God use that method and that drawn out plan? Look what He says:
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 that, they 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!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.