So you think you heard God give you a promise of deliverance from whatever it is you're going through, but things just continue to get worse...
It leaves you wondering, doesn't it? "Did I really hear
God's voice? Maybe it was my imagination. Maybe God doesn't speak to me.
Maybe He doesn't give me promises. Maybe God doesn't keep His promises.
Maybe He doesn't care about me at all..."
What happens when
people comes along and confirm that promise? Or when your Bible reading
of the day just so happens to be a word of encouragement? Do you believe
them? Or do you just write it off as yet another sign that God doesn't
speak to you or doesn't keep His promises because the deliverance hasn't
The Children of Israel were in the same situation.
They were slaves in Egypt when this man, Moses, came along, showed them
a few signs and wonders and claimed that God had promised to deliver
them and take them back to Canaan (See
Ex. 4:29-30). Yet their bondage didn't end. Instead, it got worse:
"That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers
and the Israelite foremen: ‘Do not supply any more straw for making
bricks. Make the people get it themselves! But still require them to
make the same number of bricks as before. Don't reduce the quota...Load
them down with more work. Make them sweat!'" (Ex. 5:6-9 NLT)
Is it any wonder that when Moses came along with yet more
encouragement and promises from God ("I am the Lord. I will free you
from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt...I
will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the
Lord!'" Ex. 6:6-8 NLT), the people refuse to listen? "So Moses
told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to
listen anymore." (Ex. 6:9a NLT).
The Bible doesn't drop the
story here, however. It goes on to tell why the people refused to listen
to God's continued encouragement: "They had become too discouraged
by the brutality of their slavery." (Ex. 6:9b NLT). The people
refused to even hear God's words of encouragement because the harshness
of their circumstances had discouraged them.
Herein lies the
reason why we, as well, sometimes don't even see God at work while we
await the fulfillment of His promise of deliverance. When that promise
isn't immediately fulfilled, we can usually convince ourselves that we
must simply wait; but when the circumstances then proceed to get worse,
it doesn't matter how much continued encouragement God sends us, we are
often too discouraged to hear it. The waves of problems strike us
squarely in the eye, and we become blinded to anything other than the
brutality of the trials.
So what should we do?
of Hebrews gives us the answer: "...let us strip off every weight
that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And
let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by
keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our
faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross,
disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside
God's throne." (Heb. 12:1-2 NLT).
We know that Israel's
unbelief did not keep them from receiving the promise. They were,
indeed, brought out of Egypt; they did, indeed, return to their native
land. Yet how much more pleasant that deliverance and journey would have
been if they had put off the doubt and discouragement and put their
trust in God, despite the severity of the circumstances.
promise to you today is also binding, even when your circumstances
appear to get worse. Your "Egypt experience" will end in glory, so
instead of focusing on the circumstances, try these simple steps:
Keep your eyes on Jesus;
2. Follow His example by focusing on the
joy of the deliverance;
3. Put off the doubt;
4. Fight against
5. Receive the encouragement God sends along the
way; and above all,
6. Fix your eyes on Him and Him alone.
When you do, you will find that the journey towards your deliverance
isn't so stressful after all...
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.