God assures us his presence in difficulties
Welcome to another time of refreshing in the word of God, through this medium. Last week, I explained to you, using the life of Abraham, father of faith, as part of the package to encounter problems or challenges. In the course of my ministerial job of over five decades, I have been opportune to counsel people, especially couples, genuine Christians, who were led by God, to marry one another. They were buffeted by various unexpected challenges, such as delayed procreation, joblessness, sickness, misunderstanding and lack, among others. So, they concluded that God did not orchestrate their union.
Every human being will at one time in his/her life face one challenge or the other. But challenges are meant to be overcome and you move on to another phase of life. So, stop complaining about difficulties; you are not the first and you won’t be the last to have problems. Imagine, what Abraham went through doing God’s will. If life is free of problems, his son, Isaac (a covenant child) should have had it very smooth because his father had paid the price. Here is what the Bible says: “Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham (Gen. 26:1a). This was a serious problem for Isaac. He was in danger of losing everything he had, because that is what famine does.
And this famine happened in the ‘Promised Land,’ the land God promised Abraham’s descendants. Even though God singled out Isaac’s life for blessing, he still had to deal with famine. This is a reminder that we can be in the ‘Promised Land,’ the place of blessing, and still experience hardship. The above statement is from a great man of God and it is, indeed, a bitter truth many Christians don’t like to hear.
Unfortunately, many people’s thinking is erroneous. Their belief is that God blesses people by giving them pleasant circumstances — that God’s blessing is determined by watching, which people have it good and which people have it bad. Sometimes, when adversity comes to believers, we quickly get discouraged because we think God has abandoned us. Here is the word of God through Prophet Isaiah, “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator … do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you,” Isaiah 43:1-2.
We expect the faith we have in God to somehow exempt us from hardship. But that’s not always how it works. You and I can be right where God wants us to be and still suffer hardships. That’s how life works. Trials are the normal experience of God’s people. God’s will isn’t always the easy and prosperous path. Nevertheless, God will make a way for us in difficult moment. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”- I Cor 10:13
Due to the famine, “Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines” (Gen. 26:1b). In an attempt to preserve his wealth, in the form of many cattle, Isaac went to the land of the Philistines. While in Gerar or perhaps even before, Isaac decided to go down to Egypt, just as his father had done in Genesis 12:10-20.
To be contd.,