Sooner Or Later
Read Exodus Chapter 5
Ex 5:22 Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have You brought trouble upon this people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and You have not rescued Your people at all.”
I don’t know why God works like this. He has good reason for everything He does, even though our finite minds are unable to see the reasons. The Lord obviously was at work in delivering the Israelites out of the hands of Egypt. For years, they had been crying out to the Lord for deliverance. It was God’s will that they stay in slavery to the Egyptians for centuries while they bore the tremendous burden of oppression. When God decided the time to act was right, He sent for Moses to begin the process of deliverance for His people.
It didn’t go well at first. As soon as Moses and Aaron began imploring Pharaoh to let God’s people leave Egypt, things got worse. They remained worse for a very long time. Each time Moses went back to Pharaoh, the Egyptians made the lives of Israelites even more difficult. Why did God allow it? Why didn’t He shorten the process, and just zap Pharaoh and his army immediately? As I said at first, I don’t know. We cannot get into the mind of God all the time. He graciously explains some things to us, and deliberately withholds some things from us.
That brings us to the point for today. Sometimes, God allows circumstances to worsen before He brings about whatever it takes to alleviate the problem. Our SSA may very well be one of those times when we don’t understand why and how God works. Personally, I know that things got worse for me when I made the decision to abandon unholy homosexual acts. Those who have read these devotions for a long time may remember my story of that time. I entered a very dark period of life when I submitted to His will. For the better part of two years, I remained in a very dark place. It was not an easy transition into sexual purity.
We can list some other situations from the bible where things got worse before they got better. Job and Joseph are two good OT examples. In the NT, Paul’s life got extremely dark when he submitted to the Lord, In fact, they not only got worse, they continued to worsen for the remainder of his life. The hardships he endured were enormous. Nevertheless, he persevered, because he knew that his God was faithful. He was willing to suffer persecutions and ills for all his life, because they brought honor and glory to Jesus and our Father.
When we abandon our SSA sins, we are doing so for a good cause. We may or may not have an easier life because of our submission to His will. Whether we do or not, our dedication and loyalty to Him has a purpose. The world has no choice but to take notice of anyone who is willing to die for Christ. They fully understand when someone refuses to do so. It fits into their way of thinking. If we suffer, whether short term or long term, it shouldn’t matter. We are suffering for the cause of Christ. There should be no hesitation on our part to be willing to suffer for Him.
Chances are good that we won’t have to endure suffering for a terribly long time. I, for one, cannot complain about the life that God eventually gave me. There was that dark period at first, and there have been some shorter dark periods here and there along the way. It doesn’t matter. God’s love and faithfulness have been clearly shown, as the evidence of His hand upon my life has served as a testimony to His goodness and love.
There is no doubt. Our willingness to die to self, as required in scripture, will reap huge dividends for us, whether in this life or the life thereafter. What we have given up is a big fat nothing in comparison with our eternal rewards. Our Lord’s promises will be proven true, sooner or later.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember the big picture. We are prone to only focus on the trials and tribulations of today. Just as the Israelites despaired over the delay in their deliverance, we sometimes despair. But just as their delivery came to pass later in their lives, so will our deliverance become a reality. Thank You. You are worthy of our complete loyalty and dedication.