Despite the great hardship that the nation of Israel faced, they continued to thrive.
Exodus 1:12 ‘But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.’
The concept of thriving under hardship seems a contradiction in terms. It appears that the more they were oppressed, the more they thrived. I have concluded that when God is in the equation of our lives, our thriving can be in direct proportion to our hardship. In other words, to the same degree that we are facing hardship, we can see an equal and opposite blessing on our lives. It may sound impossible, but that is what happened in this situation. In fact, the thriving was even greater than the suffering, so that even in the suffering, the progress they made was visibly greater. This distressed their enemies greatly. It says that the Egyptians became even more alarmed. Imagine, that even while you are facing great challenges, you can still make so much progress, that the enemy becomes alarmed. I believe that this is possible as we continue to trust our Deliverer. The Lord was with the nation of Israel, giving them success and growth, despite the challenges they faced. I know it may seem like an impossibility, and you may say that I do not know what you are facing, and that is true, BUT if God steps in and changes the dynamics, you can thrive in the face of challenges. This is my prayer for you, that you will thrive, in the face of challenges.
GOD SEES ALL AND HEARS ALL
When we go through difficulties, it can sometimes feel like God has abandoned us. We may even feel as if our prayers are ‘bouncing off the ceiling…’ But the truth of the matter is that God sees all things and hears all things.
Exodus 3:7 Then the LORD told him, ‘I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.’
This verse tells us all about the character of God. He never forsakes or abandons us. He never leaves us or forgets us, and He sees what is going on and what we are going through, and He hears our prayers, cries and calls for help, and in His time, He will act.
Exodus 2:23-25 ‘Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and He remembered His covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.’
How reassuring it is to know that HE hears, HE sees, HE remembers, HE is aware, and HE acts. Nothing that we go through, struggle with, no injustice, no cruel treatment and no hardship that we endure, is HE unaware of. Just as we see in the above Scripture, there came a time when it was time for the Lord to act on behalf of His people. We can expect the Lord to exhibit the same character towards us. I believe that it is time for Him to act in the situations we are facing and therefore we can be expectant.
LET MY PEOPLE GO – GOD’S PLAN!
Exodus 3:8 ‘So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey.’
This picture of the Lord ‘coming down’ to rescue His people, is a picture of divine intervention. I believe we all go through things in life where we need ‘DIVINE INTERVENTION’. But it was not just a rescue mission, it was a rescue and restoration mission. The Lord’s plan was to:
1. Step into the situation.
2. Rescue His people.
3. Deliver them from the power of the thing that wanted to destroy them.
4 Lead them out and away from the situation.
5. Take them into a wonderful future of promise and provision.
Over and over, in the book of Exodus, we see the instruction from the Lord, ‘LET MY PEOPLE GO!’ To be free, is God’s desire for His people, and He wants to intervene to bring it to pass.
Galatians 5:1 ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’
The very purpose for which Christ came to earth was to ensure freedom for His people. It is what the Lord wants to do for you. Even now, with all the challenges that the world is facing, He says: ‘LET MY PEOPLE GO! LET MY CHILD BE FREE!’ Know it, believe it and expect it!
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