Hardship happens...and sometimes that exactly where you need to be.
This past week I read Exodus 5 for my devotional. In it, Moses went to Pharaoh and told him to let Israel go from slavery. Well, Pharaoh didn't like that so he increased the workload of the Israelites to make it even harder than what it was before. That made the Israelites mad so they told Moses, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Exodus 5:21 ESV).
What stood out to me here was that from hindsight, it is easy to say to the Israelites, "you fools! Why don't you see God working?" But, again that is from hindsight and considering their struggles during that time, it is easy to be at least a little empathetic towards them.
So how does this apply to ministry?
The reality is there are times in our own lives when we can't see God working. We get so caught up the present hardship that we begin to complain and moan like the Israelites thinking, "how can this be any worse for me". However, if we can come out of that and take a step back we might be able to see what God has up his sleeve. It's hard and frustrating at times, no doubt. But I have found that it is in those frustrating, hard times that sometimes God is hard at work, behind the scenes working on something that we'll look back at months or years from now saying, "ohhhhhh, God you were there".
So, where are you at? Are you in the midst of a struggle like the Exodus Israelites? Are you on cruise-control without a care in the world? Or are you somewhere in-between? Wherever you are at, it's important to realize that God has the master plan. God is in control and working in ways that we can't even imagine. It is us being able to withdraw ourselves from the situation and try to look and see the BIGGER PICTURE. Sometimes hardship needs to happen because you need to go through that hardship to get to where you need to be.
So TAKE A MINUTE right now and examine your situation. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? Where can you step back and look from an objective viewpoint about what God is doing. Then, spend some time in prayer either crying out to God or simply realign your focus on Him. That is what David did time after time. And honestly, that is what I do whenever I have an Exodus Israelite type of situation. You just have to remember, God is in control and even in the mist of craziness, he has a BIGGER PICTURE in mind. We just have to take a step back and look for where and how he is working.
Thoughts? Comments? Experiences? Post them now that we can all benefit.
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