Are you facing trials in your life right now? Are you starting to grow discouraged? Are you wondering why this is happening to you? Then this message is for you.
Joshua 24:4-8: “And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.“
Now, we know that God loved Esau. He worked in his life. But Esau did not have the benediction that Jacob had because he did not believe or follow God. The Bible tells us he was a profane (Her. 12:16). Jacob believed in & followed God. Esau got his mountain right away, though. Jacob went to Egypt. He did not get to Canaan right away. Yet he believed that God would take his descendants to Canaan, as He had promised (Gen. 48:21).
Trusting God means waiting. Abraham waited for 25 years for his promised son while his brother had several. Isaac waited for 20 years before he had Jacob & Esau. The Israelites waited for four hundred years while Edom had its mountains & homes. They were enslaved. They were tested.
All around you right now you see people who don’t choose God. They have the house, & the money, & the possessions. They have it all, right now. They have the reward now. They are living for the present. We have chosen God’s reward, & we have to wait & be tested.
The Israelites waited for 40 years in the desert. They had to fight the enemy. We may have to wait in a desert for a time. We will have to fight the Devil. But if we fight in God’s strength, we can do it.
James 1:2-5 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.“
We see them around us. They have it all. But we trust in God. He said that it would be that way in His word, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We should accept it, but not just accept it. We should rejoice in it. God’s at work. He has a plan. And His plan is always good (Rom. 8:28).
Patience is waiting, but also enduring the unpleasantness while continuing to do what we need to do.
Do you want to have it now and have a little bit? Or wait & have it all? Man’s wisdom is ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’ He can’t wait. But we must wait. We must choose patience. God knows it is not easy to wait, but He says to ask for wisdom, for help.
It doesn’t sound easy or pleasant, does it? But there’s another side to the story. Esau had his mountain right away. But who was on his mountain with him? His wives, his children, his neighbours, his animals. But was God with him on his mountain?
Those who wait for God have their faith tested, but they also have God with them, & present in their lives.
While the Israelites were in Egypt, God was with them & helped them multiply—grow—even in the trial. When the midwives were ordered to kill the male babies & refused, they trusted in God (Exodus 1:15-21). Their faith was tried, but God made them prosper.
The Israelites saw God’s hand (the 10 plagues & their land being protected). Their faith was tried but they saw the power of God. They had to wait, but meanwhile they saw God’s glory. They saw Him do incredible miracles.
And in the desert, Caleb waited for 40 years, but his clothes & shoes did not wear out and he ate every day.
It’s in God’s plan that your faith will be tested. Accept it. God is doing something. He is bringing you to perfection. It’s a good thing. It’s not easy but it’s a good thing. The key word is ‘faith.’ Losing faith is the problem.
The difficulties are huge. Sometimes we don’t know what to do or how we can endure it. It’s only by asking God’s help & having faith that you can do it. It’ll beautify your faith for God’s glory, like gold passed through the fire.
See God’s miracles. Don’t do like the disciples & not even notice it because of your situation.
*all this taken from a sermon by my father preached earlier this year*