The Plight of the Israelites
Recently, I saw a new version of The Ten Commandments movie I had not seen before. The harsh conditions the Israelites had to endure were vividly portrayed in a way that helped me to be able to empathize with the difficult situation they faced when they left Egypt. I began to see the huge burden Moses had to bear in order to lead millions of people to the Promised Land. Imagine millions of people in the desert with no shelter. No running water. No food. No toilets. No beds. They were truly “roughing it.” When I thought about it, maybe I might have been out there complaining myself because I don’t like camping at all. But no matter how rough things got, God still expected them to trust Him for a better tomorrow based on what He had done in the past. He also required them to have a thankful attitude and not complain about their situation. He expects no less from us.
God Must Prepare Us
Granted, God’s people were in a bad situation in Egypt. Their plight got progressively worse when they left Egyptian bondage and entered the wilderness. They were put in a position where they had to trust God and heavily depend on Him for EVERYTHING. God was, indeed, taking them somewhere, they were on their way to a better place, and things would get better. However, God had to prepare them for the blessing they would receive in the future so that they would not turn away from Him once He bestowed the blessing of the Promised Land. Thus, he allowed huge hardship for the purpose of preparing them for a huge blessing that was in their future. Likewise, when we are going through our own rough times, we must be aware that we, too, must be prepared by God, lest we stray and lose our connection with Him as soon as we get what we want.
The Hardship/Blessing Pattern in the Word
This pattern of huge hardship before huge blessing is repeated time and time again in the Word. You probably are familiar with these examples:
1) Jacob grieved heavily over the perceived death of his son, Joseph, and then wound up in the midst of a famine. He ended up living in the land of Goshen with his favorite son being head of the nation of Egypt.
2) The Israelites wandered in the wilderness and endured hard times before they finally crossed over and inherited the Promised Land.
3) Job lost his family, health, and wealth before God gave him twice what he had to begin with.
4) David was rejected by his family, pursued by Saul relentlessly, and had to hide in caves before he finally became the King of Israel.
5) Ruth’s husband died before she married Boaz, and she ultimately became a rich woman.
6) Jesus suffered, bled and died on the cross and then went to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
These examples show us how God operates. Suffering will be rewarded with blessing if you only believe.
Your Hardship Will Be Worth It
So if you are going through hard times right now, remember, a huge blessing is in store for you. Let the above examples from the Word fuel your faith, solidify your resolve to endure hardship like a good soldier, and help you focus on the joy that is set before you. You may have to wait patiently for what God has promised you, but if you just hang on, He will make sure your time of suffering is well worth it by allowing huge blessings to follow huge hardships every time.
What has God done for you lately that exemplifies this principle of blessing followed by hardship? Please leave a comment below.
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