“And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large (land), unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.”Exodus 3:7-8
I am have been more than blessed while I have occupied this world for 44 years. I have been to places and had experiences I have only dreamed of – even shooting baskets on the Phoenix Suns basketball court and watching football practice from the sidelines of Sun Devil Stadium. I have never gone a day without food unless that was my choice, and I have never been a day without having access to God’s Word. God has allowed me to marry my high school sweetheart, and has given us 21 years together. He has placed godly people in my life and given me godly friends. I was born in a great country in which I can worship freely and read my Bible without any restriction. I have access to God’s Word through the internet, apps, and various study Bibles I own. Although I have not faced unjust affliction in my life, many of God’s people around the world have faced and now face challenges and affliction from the hands of others.
I know people who have faced tremendous difficulties and have come to learn the stories of those who I am not sure how they are still even standing. It breaks my heart to hear their stories and to see the trials and struggles they have gone through. While it is true that some people are enduring the consequences and reaping the bad seed they have sown, but there are others in which I see no disobedience but only that God is shaping them into His image. The thing about life is that we all go through hardships and afflictions, but when you know Jesus Christ, it makes all the difference when you go through these times. I particularly love the poem, Footprints, as it tells of Jesus carrying us through the trials of life. Psalm 37:25 reminds us of God’s care, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread.”
God allows things in our life for His honor and glory, just as He allowed His own people to be afflicted by the Egyptians. I am sure to the children of Israel it seemed to only be doom and gloom, but their cries did not go unheard and God had compassion on His people. God did not simply seek to relieve them from their afflictions, but He was leading them out of Egypt and to a country that flowed with natural provisions. God was leading them to something that was better and greater than what they could have imagined as His plans are always good and greater than ours. Jeremiah 29: 11-12 states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you.“
What are you going through today that God has allowed in your life? Do you feel God has forgotten about you? Do you realize that our time on this earth is short? Do you believe in the promise of heaven for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ? John 14:2-3 states, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” We have no idea the grandeur of heaven, but we do know that we will dwell there with the One who loves us like no one else. Our times of affliction on this earth will pale in comparison as we see the nail-scarred hands of our Lord and Savior. Our tears will be wiped away along with all the sorrow we have gone through. The promised land flowing with milk and honey that God planned for His people cannot compare to the streets of gold that God plans for us, His children. There we will forever praise our God for His holiness and goodness to us.
You may face affliction today, but know that God hears your cries and know that it will not be forever. Isaiah 59:1 states, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” May we trust Him in the dark days, and may we remember that He is preparing a place for us. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!